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GOP officials: Craig to resign Saturday

BY JOHN MILLER, Associated Press

6craig_arrest_sff_embedded_prod_affIdaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig will announce Saturday he will resign from the Senate amid a furor over his arrest and guilty plea in a police sex sting in an airport men's room, Republican officials said Friday.

Craig will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. MDT and say that he will resign effective Sept. 30, three state GOP officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The announcement follows by just five days the disclosure that he had pleaded guilty Aug. 1 to a reduced misdemeanor charge arising out of his arrest June 11 at the Minneapolis airport.

The three-term Republican senator had maintained that he did nothing wrong except for making the guilty plea without consulting a lawyer. But he found almost no support among Republicans in his home state or Washington.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter appeared Friday to have already settled on a successor: Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, according to several Republicans familiar with internal deliberations.

Craig has been out of public view since Tuesday, but Republican sources in Idaho said he spent Friday making calls to top party officials, including the governor, gauging their support.

There has been virtually none publicly.

Asked Friday at the White House if the senator should resign, President Bush said nothing and walked off stage.

Troy Maben / AP Photo
Idaho's Republican Senator Larry Craig reads a statement to the media Monday afternoon, Aug. 28, 2007, in Boise, Idaho. He read a statement and took no questions during the short news conference concerning his June 2007 arrest and subsequent guilty plea to disorderly conduct over an incident in a public restroom at the Minneapolis airport.

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