WASHINGTON - Sen. Larry Craig returned to Washington Tuesday for the first time since public disclosure of his guilty plea in a restroom sex sting.
Craig was back at the Capitol "representing Idaho, working on transition, and meeting with his legal team," spokesman Dan Whiting said.
Craig arrived in the Senate chamber around noon to vote and receive greetings from fellow senators, including GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Mary Landrieu, D-La., and homestate Republican colleague Mike Crapo
Other colleagues, such as John Ensign, R-Nev., and John McCain, R-Ariz. — both of whom criticized Craig in the aftermath of the scandal — seemed to deliberately avoid the disgraced Idahoan and at times he stood awkwardly alone.
Craig, a three-term Republican, was a no-show when Congress reconvened after a summer break.
He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct last month after an undercover officer at the Minneapolis airport alleged that Craig solicited him for sex. Craig has denied that, and his attorneys have asked a judge to let him withdraw the guilty plea.
Craig announced that he intends to resign from the Senate on Sept. 30, but a spokesman has said there is a slight chance he may keep his seat if he can withdraw his plea.
Craig gave up his senior positions on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and the Appropriations veterans subcommittee at the request of Senate Republican leaders.
Craig has contended in recent weeks that he had done nothing wrong and said his only mistake was pleading guilty Aug. 1 to a misdemeanor charge arising from the June 11 airport sting.
A Hennepin County District Court judge is scheduled to hear arguments on Craig's motion to withdraw his guilty plea on Sept. 26.