November 22, 2004
Off the hook?

Via Political Wire, an anonymous source has told CBS News that Tom DeLay will not be indicted in Travis County.


House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, appears to have dodged a bullet.

The powerful GOP chieftain is unlikely to be indicted by a state grand jury probing alleged campaign finance violations in Texas, according to an official involved in the investigation.

"No, no, I really donít think DeLay will be indicted," the official told CBSNews.com. "And to be quite honest, [DeLayís] lawyers know that."

[...]

A review of documents made public through civil litigation indicate DeLay was kept aware of the fundraising activities that were taking place. (DeLayís daughter was a paid consultant to two fund-raising committees that pumped money into the races.)

Nevertheless, the official familiar with investigation said investigators would have to establish that DeLay "acted to promote" the illegal activity, and that such evidence had not been forthcoming.

"To indict and prosecute someone, we have to be able to show not just that they were aware of something," the official explained. "We have to show that they engaged in enough conduct to make them party to the offense."

There were also jurisdictional hurdles, the official said.

"For a penal code offense [such as money laundering] we would have to find something done in Travis County, Texas, to be able to indict," the officials said. "And [DeLay] wasnít here very often."


One wonders if an anonymous source to CBS News will be a bright unimpeachable beacon of truth to Republicans now. If whiplash is contagious, we'd all better get ready to buy neck braces.

Anyway, back when the indictments of Jim Ellis, John Colyandro, and Warren Robold were handed down, it was noted but not widely reported that Travis County DA Ronnie Earle might not have jurisdiction over DeLay because he doesn't live in Austin but does live in Texas. I've never seen anything to contradict that, so I can't say this surprises me even if it is for a different reason. But this raises the question that Josh is asking - if it's such a poorly kept secret that Earle can't touch DeLay, then why bother implementing the Tom DeLay Scoundrel Protection Act? (Possible answers: They know there's evidence out there and it's just a matter of time; they figure the three indicted conspirators will roll on DeLay rather than go to jail; they did it because they could and what are you wimpy treasonous liberals gonna do about it?)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 22, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack
Comments

Another possible answer: It was a dumb rule in the first place, a stupid act of political grandstanding destined to bite them in the arse one day.

Now was as good a time as any to kill it -- a great time really. If voters are steamed about it in two years, then they'll surely let the GOP know about it. My guess is it will have about the same salience with 98% of voters as the Plames and yellow cake. Who cares? Well, besides bloggers?

The minority party has had the good sense not to impose such a rule on themselves. In retrospect, the Stupid Party shouldn't have either -- which is why we're the Stupid Party.

Good riddance in any case.

Posted by: kevin whited on November 22, 2004 3:08 PM

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Posted by: abelard on November 22, 2004 3:08 PM

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Posted by: abelard on November 22, 2004 3:14 PM

I thought the GOP won...

Posted by: PDiddie on November 22, 2004 4:56 PM

Let's try that again:

"...when you've just lost an election because you're the party which backs Iraqi rape rooms..."

I thought the GOP won...

Posted by: PDiddie on November 22, 2004 4:58 PM

So who was this anonymous official tipping off CBS? Bill Burkett of Abilene? Or David Van Os of San Antonio?

Why anyone would believe any anonymnous sources quoted by CBS is beyond me.

Posted by: Zangwell Arrow on November 22, 2004 9:17 PM

Can I pick both doors number 1 and 2?

1. There's evidence out there. Shit howdy there is. Couple of account numbers on a couple of hard drives? Uhhhh, just speculatin', mind you.

2. Rolling, rolling, rolling. Keep those doggies rolling!! These guys wont' be able to take any kind of heat, especially when they find out how nice Allred is this time of year.

Posted by: venivedi on November 22, 2004 9:20 PM