Larry Craig lawyer Stan Brand played Hardball with Chris Matthews Friday evening. Here’s how Brand describes Craig’s disorderly conduct guilty plea:
…Boisterous and ungentlemanly conduct. That‘s what disorderly conduct is. I don‘t know what that was. The irony of this case, Chris, is when these anonymous Senate staffers threatened Anita Hill-style hearings in the Senate, I really have to laugh because the fact is, the facts are known in this case. We have the tape. What the tape shows is innocent conduct. And what the tape shows is a man being threatened and cajoled into pleading by an overreaching police officer.
Actually, we heard a man desperately trying to skirt questions and safe his political career.
Brand also shared his thoughts on the Senatorial outrage over Craig’s “conduct”. Read the transcript, after the jump…
MATTHEWS: …What about the Ethics Committee? Do you believe the Ethics Committee, chaired by Barbara Boxer of California, a Democrat, will actually meet? Do you believe they will take up this case? It‘s possible, it seems to me, you guys can skate. Your client can continue to serve right through January of 2009, the end of his term, and maybe never get tagged by the Ethics Committee. It sounds like that‘s possible.
BRAND: It‘s possible. I mean, again, there are two very big thresholds here. One is, does the Senate want to open up Pandora‘s box on this type of conduct? And two, even if they do, when you look at this conduct, it‘s not criminal and it‘s not inappropriate.
MATTHEWS: Would your client quit if he were censured, like Senator Joe McCarthy was censured? Would that be the end of his career? Would he say, OK, I get it, I‘m walking?
BRAND: That to me is inconceivable that he would be censured for this conduct.
MATTHEWS: But the Senate is in an uproar over this thing.
BRAND: The Senate isn‘t in an uproar, the Republican leadership is an uproar.
MATTHEWS: Well, Mitch McConnell, John Ensign, all the people that are worried about getting 51 Republicans back into the Senate, everybody who‘s worried about a wipeout next year is clearly worried.
BRAND: That‘s right. However, this is not a political exercise only. This is a quasi-judicial proceeding. And the Supreme Court has said there may be limits on the ability of the Senate to discipline members of the Congress. They‘ve never decided that case.
MATTHEWS: OK. You‘re going to make history here, and you‘ve got your game face on, Stan Brand. I‘m very impressed. You‘ve taken a case that months ago people thought wasn‘t going anywhere. And you‘ve got a U.S. senator from Idaho who looks like he‘s going to be here for the–next year, right? Isn‘t that your bet right now? He‘s around right to the end of his term?
BRAND: That‘s–my advice is to him is to stay the course and make the case that he‘s been making, and you know, let‘s take our chances.