TRANSCRIPT: Police Interview With Sen. Larry Craig

Police question Craig about incident in public restroom at Minneapolis airport.

ByABC News
January 08, 2009, 1:06 AM

Aug. 30, 2007 &#151 -- The following is an unedited transcript of an interview between police Sgt. Dave Karsnia and police Detective Noel Nelson with Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, regarding a June 11 incident at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Audiotapes and a transcript of the interview were released today.

Craig was arrested June 11 in an airport bathroom by Karsnia, who was working undercover. Karsnia said Craig exhibited behavior in the men's restroom that was "often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct."

Craig later pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct. When news of the arrest hit the press Monday, Craig issued a statement saying, "I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously."

Under pressure from Republican party leaders, Craig stepped down from his Senate committee leadership posts.

Investigative Sgt. Dave Karsnia #4211 and Detective Noel Nelson of the Minneapolis Police Department intert1162

(NN) INTERVIEW WITH Larry Craig (LC)Case 07002008

Larry Craig: Am I gonna have to fight you in court?

Dave Karsnia: No. No. I'm not gonna go to court unless you want me there.

LC: Cause I don't want to be in court either.

DK: Ok. I don't either.

(inaudible)DK: Urn, here's the way it works, urn, you'll you'll be released today, okay.

LC: Okay.

DK: All right. I, I know I can bring you to jail, but that's not my goal here, okay?(inaudible)

LC: Don't do that. You You

DK: I'm not going to bring you to jail

LC: You solicited me.

DK: Okay. We're going to get, We're going to get into that. (inaudible)

LC: Okay.

DK: But there's the, there there's two ways, yes. You can, you can, ah, you can goto court.

You can plead guilty.

LC: Yep.

DK: There'll be a fine. You won't have to explain anything. (inaudible) I know.LC: Right.

DK: And you'll pay a fine, you be (inaudible), done. Or if you want to plead notguilty, ah, and I, I can't make these decisions for you.

LC: No, no. Just tell me where I am (inaudible) I need to make this flight.

DK: Okay. Okay. And then I go to people that are not guilty, then I would have tocome to court and end up testifying. So those are the two things, okay. Did Iexplain that part?

LC Yes

DK Okay Urn, ah, I'm just going to read you your rights real quick, okay? Yougot it on?

Noel Nelson: Yep.

DK Okay.

DK: Ah, the date is 6/11/07 at 1228 hours. Urn, Mr. Craig?

LC: Yes.

DK. Sorry about that. (ringing phone)

DK: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will beused against you in court of law. You have the right to talk to a lawyernow or have a present, a lawyer present now or anytime duringquestioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to youwithout cost. Do you understand each of these rights the way I haveexplained them to you?

LC: I do.

DK: Do you wish to talk to us at this time? LC I do

DK Okay Urn, I just wanna start off with a your side of the story, okay. So, a

LC: So I go into the bathroom here as I normally do, I'm a commuter toohere.

DK: Okay.

LC: I sit down, urn, to go to the bathroom and ah, you said our feet bumped. Ibelieve they did, ah, because I reached down and scooted over and urn,the next thing I knew, under the bathroom divider comes a card that saysPolice. Now, urn, (sigh) that's about as far as I can take it, I don't knowof anything else. Ah, your foot came toward mine, mine came towardsyours, was that natural? I don't know. Did we bump? Yes. I think we did.You said so. I don't disagree with that.

DK: Okay. I don't want to get into a pissing match here.

LC: We're not going to.

DK: Good. Urn,

LC: I don't, ah, I am not gay, I don't do these kinds of things and...

DK: It doesn't matter, I don't care about sexual preference or anything likethat. Here's your stuff back sir. Urn, I don't care about sexual preference.

LC: I know you don't. You're out to enforce the law.

DK: Right.

LC: But you shouldn't be out to entrap people either.

DK: This isn't entrapment.

LC: All right.

DK: Urn, you you're skipping some parts here, but what what about yourhand?

LC What about it? I reached down, my foot like this. There was a piece of paperon the floor, I picked it up

DK: Okay.

LC What about my hand?

DK: Well, you're not being truthful with me, I'm kinda disappointed in youSenator. I'm real disappointed in you right now. Okay. I'm not, just soyou know, just like everybody, 1,1,1, treat with dignity, I try to pull themaway from the situation

LC: 1,1

DK: and not embarrass them.

LC: I appreciate that.

DK: And I

LC: You did that after the stall.

DK: I will say every person I've had so far has told me the truth. We've beenrespectful to each other and then they've gone on their way. And I'venever had to bring anybody to jail because everybody's been truthful tome.

LC: I don't want you to take me to jail and I think.

DK: I'm not gonna take you to jail as long as your cooperative but I'm notgonna lie. We...

LC: Did my hand come below the divider? Yes. It did.

DK: Okay, sir. We deal with people that lie to us everyday.LC: I'm sure you do.

DK: I'm sure you do to sir.

LC: And gentleman so do I.

DK: I'm sure you do. We deal with a lot of people that are very bad people.You're not a bad person.

LC: No, I don't think I am.

DK: Okay, so what I'm telling you, I don't want to be lied to.

LC: Okay.

DK: Okay. So we'll start over, you're gonna get out of here. You're gonnahave to pay a fine and that will be it. Okay. I don't call media, I don't doany of that type of crap.

LC: Fine.

DK: Okay.

LC: Fine.

DK: All right, so let's start from the beginning. You went in the bathroom.

LC: I went in the bathroom.

DK: And what did you do when you...

LC: 1 stood beside the wall, waiting for a stall to open. I got in the stall, satdown, and I started to go to the bathroom. Ah, did our feet cometogether, apparently they did bump. Well, I won't dispute that.

DK: Okay. When I got out of the stall, I noticed other other stalls were open.LC: They were at the time. At the time I entered, 1,1, at the time I entered, Istood and waited.

DK: Okay.

LC: They were all busy, you know?

DK: Were you (inaudible) out here while you were waiting? I could see youreyes. I saw you playing with your fingers and then look up. Play withyour fingers and then look up.

LC: Did I glance at your stall? I was glancing at a stall right beside yourswaiting for a fella to empty it. I saw him stand up and therefore I thoughtit was going to empty.

DK: How long do you think you stood outside the stalls?

LC: Oh a minute or two at the most.

DK: Okay. And when you went in the stalls, then what?LC: Sat down.

DK: Okay. Did you do anything with your feet?

LC: Positioned them, I don't know. I don't know at the time. I'm a fairlywide guy.

DK: I understand.

LC: I had to spread my legs.

DK: Okay.

LC: When I lower my pants so they won't slide.

DK: Okay.

LC: Did I slide them too close to yours? Did I, I looked down once, your footwas close to mine.

DK Yes.

LC Did we bump? Ah, you said so, I don't recall that, but apparently we wereclose.

DK Yeah, well your foot did touch mine, on my side of the stall.

LC: All right.

DK: Okay. And then with the hand. Urn, how many times did you put yourhand under the stall?

LC: I don't recall. I remember reaching down once. There was a piece oftoilet paper back behind me and picking it up.

DK: Okay. Was your was your palm down or up when you were doing that?

LC: I don't recall.

DK: Okay. I recall your palm being up. Okay.

LC: All right.

DK: When you pick up a piece of paper off the ground, your palm would bedown, when you pick something up.

LC: Yeah, probably would be. I recall picking the paper up.

DK: And I know it's hard to describe here on tape but actually what I saw wasyour fingers come underneath the stalls, you're actually ta touching thebottom of the stall divider.

LC: I don't recall that.

DK: You don't recall

LC: I don't believe I did that. I don't.

DK: I saw, I saw

LC: I don't do those things.

DK: I saw your left hand and I could see the gold wedding ring when it whenit went across. I could see that. On your left hand, I could see that.LC: Wait a moment, my left hand was over here.

DK: I saw there's a...

LC: My right hand was next to you.

DK: I could tell it with my ah, I could tell it was your left hand because yourthumb was positioned in a faceward motion. Your thumb was on thisside, not on this side.

LC: Well, we can dispute that. I'm not going to fight you in court and I, Ireached down with my right hand to pick up the paper.

DK: 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's obvious it was theleft hand.

LC: Yeah, okay. My left hand was in the direct opposite of the stall from you.

DK: Okay. You, you travel through here frequently correct? LC I do

DK Um,

LC Almost weekly.

DK: Have you been successful in these bathrooms here before?

LC: I go to that bathroom regularly

DK I mean for any type of other activities.

LC: No. Absolutely not. I don't seek activity in bathrooms.

DK: It's embarrassing.

LC: Well it's embarrassing for both.. I'm not gonna fight you.

DK: I know you're not going to fight me. But that's not the point. I wouldrespect you and I still respect you. I don't disrespect you but I'm disrespected right now and I'm nottying to act like I have all kinds of power or anything, but you're sitting here lyingto a police officer.

DK: It's not a (inaudible) I'm getting from somebody else. I'm (inaudible)

LC: (inaudible)(Talking over each other)

DK: I am trained in this and I know what I am doing. And I say you put yourhand under there and you're going to sit there and...

LC: I admit I put my hand down.

DK: You put your hand and rubbed it on the bottom of the stall with your lefthand.

LC: No. Wait a moment.

DK: And I, I'm not dumb, you can say I don't recall...

LC: If I had turned sideways, that was the only way I could get my left handover there.

DK: it's not that hard for me to reach. (inaudible) it's not that hard. I see ithappen everyday out here now.

LC: (inaudible) you do. All right.

DK: I just, I just, I guess, I guess I'm gonna say I'm just disappointed in you sir.I'm just really am. I expect this from the guy that we get out of the hood. I mean,people vote for you.

LC: Yes, they do. (inaudible)

DK: unbelievable, unbelievable.

LC: I'm a respectable person and I don't do these kinds of...

DK: And (inaudible) respect right now though

LC: But I didn't use my left hand.

DK I thought that you...

LC: I reached down with my right hand like this to pick up a piece of paper.

DK: Was your gold ring on your right hand at anytime today.

LC: Of course not, try to get it off, look at it.

DK: Okay. Then it was your left hand, I saw it with my own eyes.

LC: All right, you saw something that didn't happen.

DK: Embarrassing, embarrassing. No wonder why we're going down the tubes.Anything to add?

NN Uh, no

DK: Embarrassing. Date is 6/11/07 at 1236 interview is done.

LC: Okay

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