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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Idaho Senator Larry Craig to Reconsider Resignation?
Aired October 4, 2007 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: The bulletin came in just about an hour ago, and, frankly, it was so surprising, we made a swing of calls to see if it could possibly be a mistake. There is no mistake.
Senator Larry Craig, accused of seeking sex in a men's room, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct, and who maintains he is gay, may not, in fact, be stepping down. To call it a 180 might not be strictly accurate, after you hear what we are about to play you.
But, at the very least, it is a backflip with a political triple twist. This is what Senator Craig said at home in Boise, Idaho, over the weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LARRY CRAIG (R), IDAHO: To Idahoans I represent, to my staff, my Senate colleagues, but most importantly, to my wife and my family, I apologize for what I have caused. I am deeply sorry.
It is with sadness and deep regret that I announced that it is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: It is all about that one little word, intent. Talk about wiggle room and talk about the breaking news tonight. The Craig people have put out a statement.
CNN's Candy Crowley has it. She joins us now from New Hampshire.
Candy, what are they saying?
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, still some wiggle room here, but it is emphasis on a different side of this from Craig spokesman Dan Whiting.
"As he stated on Saturday, Senator Craig intends to resign on September 30. However, he is fighting these charges, and should he be cleared before then, he may -- and I emphasize may -- not resign."
So, very unclear tonight, but I can tell you this is not going over well with Republicans. Part of it appears to have been pushed forward by Senator Arlen Specter, himself a former prosecutor, who, on Sunday, suggested that perhaps Craig could have fought these charges, that he would have been found innocent. The AP is reporting that, in fact, Specter and Craig have talked, and there was some suggestion that this is what has pushed Craig into perhaps rethinking this decision.
Now, I can tell you it is not being treated well by others in the Republican leadership. Our Dana Bash has been on the phone with several key aides. One of them in the congressional leadership, the Republican leadership, told her that this would make disappear all the goodwill that Larry Craig may have built up by Republicans. He compared him to a fish out of water, gasping for the last breath of political air.
So, as you can imagine, this is something that the Republicans thought they had put behind them. Senator Mitch McConnell said as early as today -- as late as today, listen, this is behind us. We will have a new Idaho senator soon. We expect him to resign.
So, this is being read very carefully around the political world in Washington -- Anderson.
COOPER: No doubt about that. Candy, stay with us.
We have in-depth reporting on this story tonight. We will also be taking calls. The toll-free number is 877-648-3639, 877-648-3639.
First, I want to also bring in CNN's Joe Johns and legal -- senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.
Joe, first of all, let's -- I want to play for our viewers what Arlen Specter said over the weekend on a news program about what he thought about Craig's resignation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY")
SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (R-PA), JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: I would still like to see Senator Craig fight this case. He left him some -- himself some daylight, Chris, when he said that he intends to resign in 30 days.
I would like to see Larry Craig go back to court, seek to withdraw his guilty plea, and fight the case. I have had some experience in -- with these kinds of matters since my days as Philadelphia district attorney. And, on the evidence, Senator Craig wouldn't be convicted of -- of anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Joe, he said that on FOX News to Chris Wallace on Sunday.
That -- that message, Joe, seems to have resonated loudly with Senator Craig.
JOE JOHNS, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's for sure.
I mean, and there are people who say, if you look at the transcript of the conversation with the police officer who arrested him, Larry Craig really never admitted to anything. And that's something people around this town have talked about just a bit.
Also, the senator there, Specter, was probably alluding to the fact that there are ways -- there is some wiggle room in here where a defendant who has already pled guilty can actually go back and say, OK, I -- I don't want to do that anymore. And that's what they're leaning on.
There -- clearly, there's this question going around town about right to counsel. You know, Larry Craig signed a document -- it was a mail-in plea. And there are a lot of questions about that document. He made it clear that he did not have an attorney who was representing him when he was filling out the forms.
And no attorney signed the form. So, perhaps the first part -- place to start looking on this is the issue of right to counsel, if Larry Craig wants to go that way. But it's important to note, we don't have any knowledge right now or information that Senator Craig has actually gone into court and asked to try to remove that plea and start over. So, you know, the next move is his.
COOPER: Luckily, we have an attorney on hand, Jeffrey Toobin, standing by.
First of all, OK, he says he's going to fight these charges. Can he fight these charges? He didn't have a lawyer present when he pled guilty...
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, he can.
COOPER: ... though -- though his Miranda rights were read to him.
Well, he can make a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. The question is, can that be successful? And, under Minnesota law, there -- as I understand it, there are only two grounds on which you can have a guilty plea withdrawn. One is coercion, that you were forced somehow to plead guilty.
The other is incompetence, that you didn't understand what you were doing, you didn't understand English, you were under mental illness. I certainly don't believe that Craig's situation falls within either of those.
COOPER: Does the coercion have to be from a representative of the state? Can he say he was being coerced by the -- the Idaho newspaper, which had printed this series of stories about him?
TOOBIN: Well, he can say that. I don't -- I mean, what coercion usually means is, you know, your co-defendant says, if you don't plead guilty, I'm going to kill you. That's coercion.
The state threatening to bring you to trial and embarrass you and give you a long sentence, that happens in every case. That's why people plead guilty. That's not coercion. So, I don't see the coercion line working at all. I suppose the argument he could make is some sort of incompetence, in the sense that he didn't have advice of counsel. But...
COOPER: And that he was so flustered by the -- by the arrest, that he didn't think clearly.
TOOBIN: That -- that is the argument. But that strikes me as an extremely implausible argument for a United States senator to make, who clearly had access to an attorney, if he wanted it, but who made what the government will say was a reasoned, knowing decision to waive counsel, plead guilty.
I mean, remember, he signed a form. That means it's used all the time. That's why it's a form. So, the idea that this form is somehow unacceptable as a form of a -- of a guilty plea, you know, again, seems unlikely.
COOPER: I remember, on an earlier program, you pointing out that he essentially stood in front of a judge and swore that what he was telling the judge, that his guilty plea was true.
TOOBIN: That's what the form says, exactly. I mean, the form says, "I am pleading guilty because I am guilty, and will not claim that I am innocent."
So, you know, again, he can say he was somehow coerced into signing that form or he didn't understand what he was signing. But, you know, we're not talking about an illiterate immigrant who didn't speak English. I mean, those -- how incompetence sometimes rises.
TOOBIN: This is a United States senator.
COOPER: His earlier argument, too, wasn't that he didn't understand what was happening. It was that he just wanted to make it all go away.
TOOBIN: That's why people plead guilty in court, is to get it over with. But that's not an excuse to get your guilty plea set aside.
You know, I think, listening to what Senator Specter said, Senator Specter, I think, is right, that if this case had gone to trial, Craig might have had a real defense. He might even have won his case.
But that's not where we are here. He's pled guilty. The case is over. He's trying the extraordinary remedy -- or talking about trying the extraordinary remedy -- of withdrawing a guilty plea. That's an entirely different situation. And I don't see any legal ground for Craig to do that.
COOPER: We -- our coverage is going to continue into our next block. Candy, I want to ask you, once the -- we're on the other side of this commercial, about when he might have made this decision, because we're now seeing some evidence there's a phone call that Craig made, a wrong phone -- he left a voice mail on an incorrect number. That has been reported and confirmed to be from Senator Craig.
We're going to play that, read that out to -- to our viewers. It does give a sense that, even before his resignation speech, he was already considering changing the wording of the resignation speech to give him some wiggle room. We will talk about that on the other break.
We're also going to be a taking your calls, 877-648-3639. You can e-mail us also, CNN.com/360.
What do you think? Should he resign? Should he fight this? You can go to -- you can also send us a v-mail. You can go to the same page and do it that way.
Our continuing in-depth coverage in a moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG: There are many challenges facing Idaho that I am currently involved in. And the people of Idaho deserve a senator who can devote 100 percent of his time and effort to the critical issues of our state and of our nation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was part of what sounded a lot like a resignation speech from Senator Larry Craig. It happened this weekend.
Then again, maybe that's not what it was -- a spokesman tonight saying the senator might not resign.
Here's the full statement from Dan Whiting. He says -- quote -- "As he stated on Saturday, Senator Craig intends to resign on September 30. However, he is fighting these charges, and should he be cleared before then, he may -- and I emphasize may -- not resign."
We're taking your calls on this shortly, the toll-free number, 877-648-3639.
Our panel is here with us, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, Candy Crowley, and also Joe Johns in Washington.
Candy, that statement that he made is fascinating. In it, he said that he intended to resign, effective September 30. And he says the reason for that date was -- quote -- "In doing so, I hope to allow a smooth and orderly transition of my loyal staff and for the person appointed to take my place at William E. Borah's desk. I have full confidence that Governor Otter will appoint a successor who will serve Idaho with distinction." He basically was saying he was delaying the actual stepping-down to help his staff out. He made no mention at that time, though, clearly, what we know now is, he was thinking about inserting that "intend" in order to give him wiggle room.
CROWLEY: We do, in fact, know that this was also 30 days of thinking time for Larry Craig, and perhaps 30 days to try to get his ducks in a row legally.
As you know, in that statement and the statement that he made prior to that, he has always claimed that he was innocent of these charges, that he just felt under pressure to sign that statement to -- quote -- "make it go away."
But, clearly, there were other things in the senator's mind. And I think, if you go back and listen to that statement, as he said, it was very clear at the time he emphasized the word "It is my intent to resign."
So, he was very clear, and -- and perhaps because the handwriting on the wall was writ so large by the Republican leaders. It looked completely inevitable that he would go. And, so, the emphasis on intent was overlooked sort of in the larger story, which was that he was going and had been pressured...
COOPER: Well, I...
CROWLEY: ... by the Republican leadership.
COOPER: I certainly overlooked it. I know...
CROWLEY: And, clearly, intent meant something.
COOPER: Jeffrey Toobin, a greater legal mind than I, overlooked it as well.
TOOBIN: We were broadcasting live on CNN on Saturday. And I was listening as he was talking.
And, you know, it just completely went by me, the word "intend." I mean, I took that, and it was reported everywhere, as a resignation speech.
COOPER: And what's -- Joe, what's -- what's significant about that now is that we now know, because of this voice mail that Craig inadvertently left on a voice mail machine on Saturday morning that, all along, he wanted to insert this wiggle room.
And we have a full-screen of the voice mail. We don't have the actual voice mail. This is "Roll Call," a Capitol political newspaper, printed this.
"Yes, Billy, this is Larry Craig calling. You can reach me on my cell. Arlen Specter is now willing to come out in my defense, arguing that it appears, by all that he knows, that I have been railroaded and all that.
"Having all of that, we have reshaped my statement a little bit to say it is my intent to resign on September 30. I think it is important for you to make as bold a statement as you are comfortable with this afternoon, and I would hope you could make it in front of the cameras."
It goes on. It goes on and on.
But what is significant, Joe, about this is that, clearly, at least Saturday morning, based on this voice mail, he, you know, was -- already had this in mind, although that's not the explanation he gave in the actual speech.
JOHNS: Certainly, that's true.
And it's also interesting. You saw the reference to Billy there. We can't say for sure, but we do know that he has some very fine attorneys, including Billy Martin, who's basically one of the reconstituted components of the team that helped Monica Lewinsky through that process, you will remember.
Martin was called her minister of defense. And he recently, as you know, represented Michael Vick in his legal troubles. He's also got Judy Smith, a former spokesman from the White House, handling legal communications.
And he has Stan Brand, a top-shelf former House counsel, working on the ethics issues. He represented, among others, Dan Rostenkowski. So, Brand's job would be, of course, to fight this thing on ethics grounds, and say to the Senate Ethics Committee, they have no business meddling with a misdemeanor that had nothing to do with the Senate.
COOPER: So -- so, was he lying in his so-called resignation speech on Saturday when he said that, well, it's September 30 because I want to give time for my staff to -- to regroup and, you know, find other work?
JOHNS: It sounds like wiggle room. It sounds like he's leaving open the possibility, trying to show that he is willing to fight this thing, if people think he ought to go ahead and fight it.
Of course, he's got a lot of legal battles ahead, if he wants to do this, really, a gauntlet. The Senate Ethics Committee, obviously, could be looking into his conduct and whether it's conduct that negatively reflected on the Senate. Those are charges along the lines of what Senator Bob Packwood faced when he was accused of repeated sexual harassment.
There have also, as you know, been threats of hearings into the Craig matter, which could be just excruciating. And that, of course, would be similar, as well, to what happened to -- to Senator Packwood, as well.
TOOBIN: And he has already been stripped of his committee assignments by the Republican -- his -- his Republican colleagues. So, if he stays in the Senate, he's not going to have much to do as a senator, except take votes on the floor.
And let me add another wrinkle here. If you listen to what his spokesman said, the spokesman says, if he gets it resolved by September 30, then maybe he won't resign.
Well, the legal system doesn't work that quickly. There's no way he could seek to have his guilty plea withdrawn -- the government, of course, would object. The judge would hold a hearing and take evidence. That can't possibly be resolved by September 30, considering he hasn't even filed a request yet. So, I -- I don't know what's -- the thinking is there.
COOPER: There's a lot more to talk about, in terms of what the -- why the Republicans' leadership was so quick to essentially throw this guy under the bus, when they have supported others in the past charged with different sorts of -- of improprieties, you might say.
We're going to talk about that with our panel.
But, because the tape of Senator Craig and the Minneapolis Airport police sergeant, Dave Karsnia, figures really so centrally into all this, we want to play it for you in full, so you can decide for yourself what the senator did and did not do, and, frankly, whether or not these charges should have been brought up in the first place.
I mean, there's a real question, Jeffrey Toobin, right now, why were the police even in this bathroom conducting this sort of an operation? Is this really the kind of thing that -- that should be high on their agenda?
TOOBIN: It's interesting, as this story has evolved.
In recent days, once it's been clear that Craig was on his way out, people on the left politically have been raising the question of, you know, what the heck is the Minneapolis Police doing, you know, trying to police people tapping on bathroom stalls? You know, what harm were they doing?
I mean, yes, if people are having sex in public bathrooms, that's a problem. But, if they are just exchanging these cryptic signals to other consensual tappers, what -- why -- why is that the business of law enforcement?
COOPER: With that in mind, as we're looking at this mug shot, let's listen to the tape made shortly after his arrest.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DAVE KARSNIA, INVESTIGATIVE SERGEANT: Do you wish to talk to us at this time? CRAIG: I do.
KARSNIA: OK. I just want to start off with a your side of the story, OK? So...
CRAIG: So, I go into the bathroom here, as I normally do. I'm a commuter through here.
CRAIG: I sit down to go to the bathroom. And you said our feet bumped. I believe they did, because I reached down and scooted over, and the next thing I knew, under the bathroom divider comes a card that says "Police."
Now, that's about as far as I can take it. I don't know of anything else. Your foot came toward mine. Mine came towards yours. Was that natural? I don't know. Did we bump? Yes. I think we did. You said so. I don't disagree with that.
KARSNIA: OK. I don't want to get into a pissing match here.
CRAIG: We're not going to.
CRAIG: I don't -- I am not gay. I don't do these kinds of things and...
KARSNIA: That doesn't matter. I don't care about sexual preference or anything like that.
Here's your stuff back, sir. I don't care about sexual preference.
CRAIG: I know you don't. You're out to enforce the law.
CRAIG: But you shouldn't be out to entrap people either.
KARSNIA: This isn't entrapment.
CRAIG: All right.
KARSNIA: You -- you're -- you're skipping some parts here, but what about your hand?
CRAIG: What about it? I reached down with my foot like this. There was a piece of paper on the floor. I picked it up.
KARSNIA: OK. CRAIG: What about my hand?
KARSNIA: Well, you're not being truthful with me. I'm kind of disappointed in you, Senator. I'm really disappointed right now.
OK? I'm not -- just so you know, just like everybody...
KARSNIA: I treat with dignity. I try to pull them away from the situation.
KARSNIA: ... not embarrass them.
CRAIG: I appreciate that.
KARSNIA: And I...
CRAIG: And you did that after (INAUDIBLE) out of the stall.
KARSNIA: I will say every person I have had so far has told me the truth. We have been respectful to each other, and then they have gone on their way. And I have never had to bring anybody to jail because everybody's been truthful to me.
CRAIG: I don't want you to take me to jail. And I think...
KARSNIA: I'm not going to take you to jail as long as you be cooperative, but I -- I'm not going to lie. We...
CRAIG: Did my hand come below the divider? Yes, it did.
KARSNIA: OK. Sir, we deal with people that lie to us every day.
CRAIG: I'm sure you do.
KARSNIA: I'm sure you do too, sir.
CRAIG: And, gentleman, so do I.
KARSNIA: I'm sure you do. We deal with a lot of people that are very bad people. You're not a bad person.
CRAIG: No, I don't think I am.
KARSNIA: OK. So what I'm telling you is, I don't want to be lied to.
So, we will start over. You're going to get out of here. You're going to have to pay a fine, and that will be it. OK? And I don't call media. I don't do any of that type of crap.
KARSNIA: All right, so let's start from the beginning. You went in the bathroom.
CRAIG: I went in the bathroom.
KARSNIA: And then what did you do when you...
CRAIG: I stood beside the wall, waiting for a stall to open. I got in the stall, sat down. I started going to the bathroom. Did our feet come together? Apparently, they did bump. Well, I won't dispute that.
KARSNIA: OK. When I got out of the stall, I noticed other -- other stalls were open.
CRAIG: They were at the time. At the time I entered, I -- I -- at the time I entered, I stood and waited.
CRAIG: They were all busy, you know?
KARSNIA: Were you right at me while you were waiting? I could see your eyes. I saw you playing with your fingers, then look up, play with your fingers, and then look up.
CRAIG: Did I glance at your stall? I was glancing at a stall right beside yours waiting for a fellow to empty it. I saw him stand up. And, therefore, I thought it was going to empty.
KARSNIA: How long do you think you stood outside the stalls?
CRAIG: Oh, a minute or two at the most.
KARSNIA: OK. And, when you went in the stall, then what?
CRAIG: Sat down.
KARSNIA: OK. Did you do anything with your feet?
CRAIG: Positioned them, I don't know. I don't know at the time. I'm a fairly wide guy.
KARSNIA: I understand.
CRAIG: I tend to spread my legs...
CRAIG: ... when I lower my pants so they won't slide.
CRAIG: Did I slide them too close to yours? Did I -- I looked down once your foot was close to mine.
CRAIG: Did we bump? You said so. I don't recall that, but apparently we were close.
KARSNIA: Yeah. Well, your foot did touch mine, on my side of the stall.
CRAIG: All right.
KARSNIA: OK? And then with the hand. How many times did you put your hand under the stall?
CRAIG: I don't recall. I remember reaching down once -- there was a piece of toilet paper back behind me -- in picking it up.
KARSNIA: OK. Was your -- was your palm down or up when you were doing that?
CRAIG: I don't recall.
KARSNIA: OK. I recall your palm being up. OK?
CRAIG: All right.
KARSNIA: When you pick up a piece of paper off the ground, your palm would be down, when you pick something up.
CRAIG: Yeah, probably would be. I recall picking the paper up.
KARSNIA: And I know it's hard to describe here on tape, but, actually, what I saw was your fingers come underneath the stalls. You were actually touching the bottom of the stall divider.
CRAIG: I don't recall that.
KARSNIA: You don't recall...
CRAIG: I don't believe I did that. I don't.
KARSNIA: I saw -- I saw...
CRAIG: I don't do those things.
KARSNIA: I saw your left hand. And I could see the gold wedding ring when it when it went across. I could see that. On your left hand, I could see that.
CRAIG: Wait a moment. My left hand was over here.
KARSNIA: I saw -- there's a...
CRAIG: My right hand was next to you.
KARSNIA: I could tell it with my -- I could tell it was your left hand, because your thumb was positioned -- in a faceward motion, your thumb was on this side, not on this side.
CRAIG: Well, we can dispute that. I'm not going to fight you in court.
KARSNIA: But I -- I reached down with my right hand to pick up the paper.
But I'm telling you that I could see that, so I know that's your left hand. Also, I could see a gold ring on this finger, so that it's obvious it was the left hand.
CRAIG: Yeah, OK. My left hand was in the direct opposite of the stall from you.
You -- you travel through here frequently, correct?
KARSNIA: I do, almost weekly.
KARSNIA: Have you been successful in these bathrooms here before?
CRAIG: I go to that bathroom regularly.
KARSNIA: I mean for any type of other activity?
CRAIG: No, absolutely not. I don't seek activity in bathrooms.
KARSNIA: It's embarrassing.
CRAIG: Well, it's embarrassing for both. But I'm not going to fight you. KARSNIA: I know you're not going to fight me, but that's not the point. I would respect you. And I still respect you. I don't disrespect you. But I'm disrespected right now.
And I'm not tying to act like I have all kinds of power or anything, but you're sitting here lying to a police officer.
KARSNIA: That is not a (INAUDIBLE) I'm getting from somebody else. I'm...
KARSNIA: I have been trained in this.
KARSNIA: I have been trained in this, and I know what I am doing.
KARSNIA: And I saw you put your hand under there. And you're going to sit there and...
CRAIG: I admit I put my hand down.
KARSNIA: You put your hand and rubbed it on the bottom of the stall with your left hand.
CRAIG: No. Wait a moment.
KARSNIA: And I'm -- I'm not dumb. You can say, I don't recall...
CRAIG: If I had turned sideways, that was the only way I could get my left hand over there.
KARSNIA: It's not that hard for you to reach...
KARSNIA: It's not that hard. I see it happen every day out here now.
CRAIG: (INAUDIBLE) You do. All right.
KARSNIA: I'm just -- I'm just -- I guess -- I guess I'm going to say I'm just disappointed in you, sir. I just really am. I expect this from the guy that we get out of the hood. But, I mean -- I mean, people vote for you.
CRAIG: Yes, they do. (CROSSTALK)
KARSNIA: Unbelievable. Unbelievable.
CRAIG: And I'm a respectable person. And I don't do these kinds of...
KARSNIA: ... respect right now, though.
CRAIG: But I didn't use my left hand.
KARSNIA: I saw...
CRAIG: I reached down with my right hand like this to pick up a piece of paper.
KARSNIA: Was your gold ring on your right hand at any time today?
CRAIG: Of course not. Try to get it off. Look at it.
KARSNIA: OK. Then it was your left hand. I saw it with my own eyes.
CRAIG: All right, you saw something that didn't happen.
KARSNIA: Embarrassing. Embarrassing. No wonder why we're going down the tubes.
Do you have anything to add?
NELSON: Uh, no.
KARSNIA: All right. It's embarrassing.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
Central to all of this now is why he pled guilty.
That conversation, that arrest, took place in June.
Jeffrey Toobin is going to bring up a very important point on the other side of this break. When he actually pled guilty, you might have thought it was that same day, that he was just confused, wanted to get out of there. It wasn't. And the -- the timeline is very significant here.
We're taking your calls on this as well in just a moment. Our phone lines, a lot of folks calling in. Our panel is sticking around, too.
A break first. You're watching 360. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRAIG: It is with sadness and deep regret that I announce that it is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Well, our panel is ready to take your calls about Senator Larry Craig.
Standing by are CNN's Candy Crowley, Joe Johns, and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin -- the number, 877-648-3639.
Jeffrey, an important point, though, that you brought up which I hadn't realized, the arrest was on June 11. When was it that Craig actually pled guilty?
TOOBIN: This document that he signed pleading guilty is August 1. That's when he signed it.
So, he had almost two months to think it over. And it was only at that point that he decided to plead guilty, which makes it even harder to overturn the plea, because, you know, it would be one thing if, in the heat of the moment, just to get out of the airport, to get out of custody, he signed some papers without thinking about it.
No, that's not what happened. He...
COOPER: So, he had weeks and weeks and weeks, more than -- more -- June 11 to August 6, you said?
TOOBIN: It doesn't matter. I mean, you know, the evidence, I think, would have been ambiguous if Craig had gone to trial. And he might well have gotten acquitted. We don't know all of the government's evidence in this case. We only know what Karsnia, the detective with this poor misbegotten job of waiting in the men's room said in his exchange with Craig, but it is certainly -- this certainly did look like a defensible case.
But as the judge ruled in this very thorough 27-page opinion, he had the opportunity, repeatedly, to raise all of these arguments and he was warned repeatedly that if he pled guilty that was the end of the case.
COOPER: And he was arrested on the 11th and it was basically almost two months later that he pled guilty.
TOOBIN: Well, and that's what is really driven home in the court's opinion. That what you see in the judge's summary of the facts is how many times during those nearly two months Craig was in touch with the police, with the prosecutor's office, negotiating, talking, what are my options, what should I do, what happens if I plead guilty. So this was hardly a rash immediate decision on the part of Craig. This was a considered decision by a United States senator about what to do.
And the judge said hey, you've got to live with that.
COOPER: Which is strange that he thinks he thought that he could have done that anyway. Jeff Toobin, appreciate the perspective. Thanks, Jeff.
TOOBIN: OK, Anderson.
COOPER: So Jeff isn't just our senior legal analyst. He's a best-selling author. His latest book "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court," hits number two on The New York Times list. It is an eye-opener. It's a very good book. I've already read it. Check it out.
Life tenure interpreting the Constitution, the black robes, being a Supreme Court justice is pretty sweet. But for the White House hopefuls, the power begins and ends with the president. Maybe that's why so many candidates are gunning for the job. Today they were on the campaign trail, so were we. CNN's Tom Foreman has tonight's "Raw Politics."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to South Carolina where many Republicans are unhappy with their choices for president, unsettled over the war and they are giving the party a raw read of their own.
(voice-over): South Carolina barbeque is well done but Republicans are steamed. A new nationwide poll shows GOP voters who used to eat up the president's plans now want new policies from their candidates. Without that, voters like Tiffany Eubanks fear Democrats will run away with the race.
(on camera): What do you most fear on the Democratic side of this race?
TIFFANY EUBANKS: They're going to make it more of a popularity contest instead of the real issues at hand.
FOREMAN (voice-over): GOP hopefuls on the trail. Mitt Romney talking up a plan for a zero tax rate on middle class savings.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIATE: On your interest, dividends and capital gains.
FOREMAN: Rudy Giuliani taking it farther, says that Democrats move into the White House, your taxes could rise more than $3,000. GOP numbers for the last quarter, fund-raising, Fred Thompson jumps up big with almost $13 million. Giuliani gets $11 million. McCain takes $6 million. Romney scores $10 million, but adds $8.5 million from his own savings, must be nice.
The punch-up continues for the Dems. South Carolina appears to be moving its primary up along with other states and Florida Dems are now filing a lawsuit against the national party for threatening Gatorland's plans for a early vote. If this keeps up, the whole Democratic Party could get black eyes.
And black Democrats not sure whom they like. The latest poll shows them evenly split between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. That's all the more reason for all eyes to be on this state's early primary, because about half of the Democrats here are African- American. That's "Raw Politics" on the road in South Carolina.
COOPER: Well, we're gearing up right now for our second YouTube debate, this time it is the Republican presidential candidates who are going to answer your questions. It is on Wednesday, November 28th. I know it seems kind of far off, but you did it once, do it again, go to cnn.com/youtubedebates and post your questions.
Now here's John Roberts with what is coming up tomorrow on "AMERICAN MORNING."
JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks, Anderson. Tomorrow we bring you the most news in the morning, including a debate raging over a teacher's right to protect herself and a school's rules to protect children. She has filed a restraining order against her ex-husband and fears him. She has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but the school district won't allow her to bring it to class. Is there room for a compromise? Find out, "AMERICAN MORNING" begins at 6:00 a.m. Eastern -- Anderson.
COOPER: All right. You've been e-mailing us tonight on how police handled the arrested of Carol Ann (ph) Gotbaum, who died in their custody. You watched the surveillance tape. You're weighing in. We'll read some of your e-mails just ahead.
Also, the battle on the border and more.
COOPER (voice-over): Cracking down on illegal immigrants. New evidence it's working.
SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hidalgo may be 500 miles south of the U.S. border, but immigration pressure up north is causing dramatic changes here.
COOPER: Changes that could mean the tide of illegal immigration is finally receding.
Plus, he ran like Superman, leapt like Spider-Man, so would he land like a cat and escape like a rat? You'll find out, but only if you stick around and watch like a hawk.
COOPER: October is Hispanic Heritage Month. And all this week on CNN as part of our "Uncovering America" series, we're looking at what it means to be Hispanic today in a country that is really intensely divided over immigration reform. We have asked viewers to share their experiences on our Web site. And we have sent our reporters into the field.
Now across the country, federal agents are ramping up raids and pressuring businesses that hire undocumented workers. A crack down on illegal immigrants that is now being felt on both sides of the border.
Here's CNN's Soledad O'Brien.
O'BRIEN (voice-over): A three-hour drive north from Mexico City brings you to rural Hidalgo state. The main business, farming. A Mexican worker here makes the equivalent of about $7.50 a day, where there is work.
Hidalgo may be 500 miles south of the U.S. border, but immigration pressure up north is causing dramatic changes here. This is what it looked like seven months ago, a virtual ghost town. All of the men working in the U.S.
It's not that way today. Many men have been pressured to return.
"It is a beautiful country, but you don't mess with the law," he says.
O'BRIEN: Construction continues on a 700-mile fence between the U.S. and Mexico, but we found pressure, fear and lack of jobs are already getting the job done, driving illegal immigrants back home.
Down the road, we met a man who, like many from his village, went to Clearwater, Florida, his first illegal trip more than 20 years ago. Restaurant and construction jobs then were plentiful. But Florida has closed loop holes that had allowed illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
So when his expired...
(on camera): Expires January 20th, 2007.
(voice-over): ... he had no way to drive to work, no job, no reason to stay in Clearwater. This man, Julian Huerta, also left Clearwater.
"I don't have any IDs," Julian says. When he stopped working in the United States, the money he sent home also stopped.
(on camera): Back when there was money flowing into this town, homes were built to look like this, this home belongs to Julian's son. But over here is Julian's home. And it is barely started and nowhere near finished and probably never will be. You can see it's just full of dust and debris right now.
Julian was able to renew his ID. Without an ID, he couldn't cash his checks. The work started to dry up and so he left Florida and came back to Mexico. His family, those who are still in Clearwater, Florida, say the immigration crackdown has them very afraid.
(voice-over): One is Julian's daughter.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm so scared. Sometimes I don't want to go out. I want to stay all day here, I stay with my babies.
O'BRIEN: Clearwater, Florida, has been a kind of sister city to Hidalgo, Mexico. By one estimate, 20,000 immigrants from Hidalgo, both legal and illegal, live and work here. Like many we spoke to here, Julian's daughter says she's terrified. She fears a raid could mean she'll be separated from her children and deported back to Mexico.
That fear and reverse migration has undocumented immigrants in Clearwater staying away from Mexican businesses like this money wire service.
VIRGINIO PALOMA, BUSINESS OWNER: I've been doing this for seven years. And lately it has been slow for probably 30 percent off what we used to do.
O'BRIEN: The immigration crackdown is having an impact on Hidalgo. It's a tradeoff. In the U.S. there's a high risk. Here there are few jobs and virtually no opportunity, which makes it difficult to feed a family or build a house.
"I'm worried," he says, for good reason. Because if a goal of U.S. immigration policy is to kick out illegal immigrants like himself, there are signs that it's working.
Soledad O'Brien, CNN, Hidalgo, Mexico.
COOPER: Coming up next, a dramatic example of what one scientist says is global warming. An island no one knew was there. Meet the man who discovered it and find out how it affects our "Planet in Peril," next.
COOPER: In our voyage around the world visiting four continents, 13 countries for this month's "Planet in Peril" documentary, we saw many of the effects of climate change. One of the most striking is the Island you are about to see off the eastern coast of Greenland. At first glance, there is nothing really remarkable about it. Its shores are barren and rocky. Its snow-capped peaks are pretty desolate.
But the fact you can glance at it is remarkable enough. Simply put, without global warming, scientists say this island would not exist.
COOPER: (voice-over): Constable Point, Greenland, to say this place is remote is an understatement. We're here with explorer Dennis Schmitt, traveling up the east coast to his latest discovery. After a few fly-bys we touch down. This is one of the world's newest and least-explored islands.
DENNIS SCHMITT, EXPLORER: No one has ever been here before. We're the first people ever to...
COOPER (on camera): No one has ever been here, really?
SCHMITT: No, we're the first ever to walk here.
COOPER (voice-over): Schmitt didn't expect to make this discovery. He literally sailed right into it.
(on camera): When did you realize, wait a minute, this is not -- this is an island?
SCHMITT: I realized something was wrong. Either I was in a different place or the place where I was had completely changed. And I pointed to the area of open water and the edge of the base of the glaciers and I said, that's the world's newest island.
COOPER (voice-over): Here in the Arctic's bitter cold, an island revealed because of Greenland's retreating ice shelf.
SCHMITT: It's the first example of an island actually breaking away from the continental mass.
COOPER: He named it Warming Island, a permanent reminder of a warming Earth.
(on camera): It was a moment you dreamed of your whole life?
SCHMITT: Yes. When you're a kid, and you think of that, you think -- you fantasize that you can do that. But of course you don't think you can really do it.
COOPER (voice-over): But as a kid, Schmitt was well on his way to a life off the beaten path. Schmitt says he was tapped as a prodigy in his native California, placed in a special school as a child. And by 11 he says he was composing symphonies.
Then at 19 he was restless in the modern world, so he went to live with the Eskimos in Alaska. After that he took it a step further, literally. He walked across the Bering Strait.
SCHMITT: There was nobody to stop me. There were no soldiers, no rifle shots, nothing. I just kept walking and I ended up on a Soviet island.
COOPER: And he has been traveling the Arctic ever since.
SCHMITT: I've had this since I was 16.
COOPER: Part explorer.
SCHMITT: And I would ride his sled.
COOPER: Part poet and philosopher.
SCHMITT: With rainbows raining in the rain.
COOPER: Musician and composer.
SCHMITT: I'm trying to invent a new kind of opera. The music I write and the poetry I write is just who I am. All of my life as an explorer, I would carry notebooks around with me and writing music and poetry, all the while I was in the arctic. I never stopped doing that.
COOPER: Schmitt's island has become a visible symbol of climate change.
SCHMITT: I think that historically Warming Island is going to be by far the most important thing I've discovered.
COOPER: Now 61, Dennis still makes several trips to the Arctic each year, hoping for more discoveries, discoveries he believes can send a message to the world.
COOPER: Don't miss the four-hour "Planet in Peril" documentary. It premieres less than three weeks from today, October 23rd and 24th. You can also watch a preview of it on our podcast, just head to our Web site, cnn.com/360. Or download it from iTunes.
Still ahead on the program, if you think police used excessive force in the arrest of Carol Ann Gotbaum, that is the videotape, the surveillance tape. We will read some of your e-mails and we will take a close look.
Plus a photographer captures a daring escape attempt and then catches the bad guy. The incredible story is our "Shot of the Day" next.
COOPER: Just ahead, a news photographer gets the shot and then tackles the suspect. Just an ordinary day on the crime beat. Not exactly ordinary. The shots next. But first Gary Tuchman joins us with a 360 bulletin -- Gary.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, hello again. Senate and House Democrats are demanding to see two secret memos issued by the Justice Department in 2005 and uncovered by The New York Times. The paper reported today that the memos loosened rules on torture by authorizing painful interrogation tactics against terror suspects, including simulated drowning, known as waterboarding. The memos were issued months after the government publicly renounced the use of torture. Today the White House and Justice Department confirmed the memos exist but said neither one changed U.S. policy on torture. House lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a bill today that would make all private contractors in Iraq and other combat zones subject to prosecution by U.S. courts. The legislation is a response to a deadly shoot-out last month involving employees of the private security firm Blackwater. Eleven Iraqis were killed. Senate Democrats said they plan to pass a similar bill.
Well, stocks inched up today on the eve of an important monthly jobs report. The Dow rose 6 points to 13,974. The S&P 500 gained 3 points, closing at 1,542. The Nasdaq added 4 points.
And in La Jolla, California, a shaken neighborhood began taking stock of its losses a day after a landslide left a gaping chasm in a four-lane street. Twenty-nine homes in the upscale community were damaged, nine of them severely. The collapse happened just hours the engineers warned residents of the potential danger.
Imagine, Anderson, waking up in the morning, going outside your home and seeing canyons in your street.
COOPER: And it's amazing no one was injured in that. Very lucky indeed. Time for the shot. For news photographers, it's all about getting the shot. Yesterday in Lewiston, Maine, Russ Dillingham (ph), a photographer for the Sun Journal, got the shot all right. Take a look. It's a dramatic picture of a fugitive jumping from a third floor balcony. The guy had allegedly stolen a car. Police were closing in on him. The suspect landed on the ground, a police officer screamed for Russ, who was closest to the fugitive, to tackle him. And he did. He held him down until the police got there. And then he picked up his camera and took that picture of the suspect getting cuffed.
Pretty amazing stuff there. I want you to send us -- I don't know what I would do there. I guess you would do what you would instinctually do, which is grab the guy.
TUCHMAN: I think when Russ got home, his family probably said to him, what did you do today? He said, ah, just a normal average every day thing.
COOPER: Probably so. Now let's check out your e-mail, the videotape arrest of Carol Ann Gotbaum at the Phoenix Airport last Friday. Earlier in the program we asked you, do you think the police used excessive force? Just minutes after this tape was made she died in custody. Police say she strangled herself while maneuvering in her handcuffs. The Gotbaum family's attorney said she was manhandled. Here's some of your comments "On the Radar."
Mary Lou in Glendale, New York: "Absolutely, I believe that the force used was excessive. Handcuff a hysterical woman and then leave her alone. Not so much. Should have stayed with her and tried to talk her down."
Victor in Covington, Georgia, says: "How on earth can an irate, unarmed female, legitimate airport user die under police custody and Phoenix authorities say it is justifiable?"
Lilibeth in Edmonds, Washington, disagrees slightly. She says: "I don't think the police used excessive force, having said that, I think the focus should be on what happened in the holding room because this is where she died. They say that it is their policy to have no cameras in that room, but are they just saying that as a convenient excuse to not show evidence?" Possibly, good point.
Well, Josie in Port St. Lucie, Florida, says: "She was one small woman, and there were three very large men who tackled her and took her down. I'm sure that had to hurt. My heart goes out to the woman's family." Josie, our condolences certainly to the family as well. And autopsy results are still to come in. Police are still investigating.
To weigh in, log on to cnn.com/360. Hit the link to the blog or send us a v-mail through our Web site.
Up next, see the video of Carol Ann Gotbaum's arrest and decide for yourself if the police went too far.
Also ahead, an armored car assassination. Two guards gunned down and a city under siege. What is to blame for the violence that is tearing Philadelphia apart? We are "Keeping Them Honest," next.
COOPER: The woman you see in the video tape we're about to show you, a surveillance tape, died just a few minutes later in a holding cell at the Phoenix Airport. But how she died, how Carol Ann Gotbaum died while handcuffed and shackled remains a mystery. Now tonight you can judge for yourself whether police acted properly. We're going to examine it with an expert and dig deeper into the other facts of the case.
Also ahead tonight, another surveillance camera catches yet more brutality on the violent streets of Philadelphia. The gunman who killed two guards still at large. And big manhunt under way right now. More than 300 murders this year alone in Philadelphia. What is responsible? Who is accountable? We're "Keeping Them Honest."
And Senator Larry Craig makes it definite. He's definitely not resigning, even though he said he would if a judge upheld his guilty plea in a men's room sex sting. Somewhere a Democrat is smiling. All those stories ahead.
We begin with a video of Carol Ann Gotbaum's final moments alive. Today authorities released this surveillance tape showing heart at the Phoenix Aiport. That's her where you see the circle. She's already screaming before police arrive. On her way to an alcohol treatment facility she was. There's no sound to the tape, but witnesses told us and police also say she was screaming, I'm not a terrorist.
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