Tom DeLay Indicted and Steps Aside from House Leadership

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Tom DeLay

credit: Ray Lustig/

Washington Post

Tom DeLay has been indicted and charged with criminal conspiracy. He is accused of conspiring (text of indictment) with John Colyandro and James Ellis to violate the laws governing campaign contributions.

DeLay’s attorney calls the indictment “skunky.” Following is the text of DeLay’s response (via The Corner):

These charges have no basis in the facts or the law. This is just another example of Ronnie Earle misusing his office for partisan vendettas. Despite the clearly political agenda of this prosecutor, Congressman DeLay has cooperated with officials throughout the entire process. Even in the last two weeks, Ronnie Earle himself had acknowledged publicly that Mr. DeLay was not a target of his investigation. However, as with many of Ronnie Earle’s previous partisan investigations, Ronnie Earle refused to let the facts or the law get in the way of his partisan desire to indict a political foe.

This purely political investigation has been marked by illegal grand jury leaks, a fundraising speech by Ronnie Earle for Texas Democrats that inappropriately focused on the investigation, misuse of his office for partisan purposes, and extortion of money for Earle’s pet projects from corporations in exchange for dismissing indictments he brought against them. Ronnie Earle’s previous misuse of his office has resulted in failed prosecutions and we trust his partisan grandstanding will strike out again, as it should.

Ronnie Earle’s 1994 indictment against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was quickly dismissed and his charges in the 1980s against former Attorney General Jim Mattox-another political foe of Earle-fell apart at trial.

We regret the people of Texas will once again have their taxpayer dollars wasted on Ronnie Earle’s pursuit of headlines and political paybacks. Ronnie Earle began this investigation in 2002, after the Democrat Party lost the Texas state legislature to Republicans. For three years and through numerous grand juries, Ronnie Earle has tried to manufacture charges against Republicans involved in winning those elections using arcane statutes never before utilized in a case in the state. This indictment is nothing more than prosecutorial retribution by a partisan Democrat.

The President quickly issued a statement of support for DeLay.

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3 Responses

  1. Taylor Kirk says:

    I am so happy. It’s about time. This jerk redrew my district in Houston just short of my Congressman’s house, so he wouldn’t be able to run unless he moved.

    Taylor

    The Latin Americanist

    http://ourlatinamerica.blogspot.com

  2. Darleen says:

    Taylor

    Gerrymandering is the stuff of incumbency and is an equal opportunity fiasco by members of both parties. You ought to see what goes on in California which is run by a Democrat Politburo … there is one district that runs along the coast for about 100 miles and, in places, is only a couple of hundred feet wide.

    I want to know the FACTS, and those will come out in a trial. Interestingly the only indictment is for “conspiracy”..which always makes my radar aquiver to politically motivated winds.

    If you want to punish Delay for redistricting, do it at the ballot box but a criminal investigation?

  3. Eric Jaffa says:

    If prosecutor Ronnie Earle is so “partisan,” than for which party?

    Here is a list of his past prosecutions from the Austin American Statesman:

    http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:0rQBlgcHhFwJ:www.statesman.com/metrostate/content/metro/09/22EARLERECORD.html+%22Past+prosecutions+by+Ronnie+Earle%22&hl=en&client=safari

    U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, 1994: Acquitted of official misconduct and records tampering after Earle dropped the case during the trial.

    Former state Rep. Betty Denton, D-Waco, 1995: Sentenced to six months probation and fined $2,000 for listing false loans and contributions on campaign finance reports.

    Former state Rep. Lane Denton, D-Waco, 1995: Sentenced to 60 days in work-release program and six years probation, fined $6,000 and ordered to pay more than $67,000 restitution after being convicted of theft and misapplication of fiduciary property for funneling money from the Department of Public Safety Officers Association to a Denton company.

    House Speaker Gib Lewis, D-Fort Worth, 1992: In plea bargain, Earle dropped more serious charges when Lewis pleaded no contest to failing to disclose a business investment. Lewis was fined $2,000, and the judge said he took into consideration that Lewis was retiring from public office.

    Attorney General Jim Mattox, Democrat, 1985: Acquitted on felony bribery charges. Won re-election.

    State Rep. Mike Martin, R-Longview, 1982: Pleaded guilty to perjury after lying about having himself shot to gain publicity. Did not run for re-election.

    State Treasurer Warren Harding, Democrat, 1982: Pleaded no contest to official misconduct and dropped re-election bid.

    Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Yarbrough, Democrat, 1978: Sentenced to five years for lying to a grand jury and forgery. Gave up seat.

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