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Rats of a feather

My schadenfreude-o-meter goes to 11.

As convicted felon Tom DeLay prepares to find out Monday whether he will go to jail or get probation, his lawyer complained Friday that Travis County prosecutors offered immunity for testimony from two former DeLay aides who later worked for disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

“They’ve offered to give immunity to two guys who admitted they stole millions just to get testimony against Tom DeLay,” said Dick DeGuerin, DeLay’s lawyer. “They’ve destroyed Tom DeLay, and now they want to rub salt in the wound.”

In November, a Travis County jury convicted the former U.S. House majority leader on conspiracy and money laundering charges, but DeLay chose to have state District Judge Pat Priest , a senior judge from San Antonio, set the punishment. The sentencing will begin at 9 a.m. in the 250th District Court in Austin.

Gary Cobb, the lead prosecutor, confirmed Friday that immunity was offered to the two ex-aides, Michael Scanlon and Tony Rudy. Scanlon and Rudy pleaded guilty to corruption charges several years ago but are awaiting sentencing after cooperating with federal investigators, who are wrapping up their investigation of the Abramoff scandal that rocked Congress almost seven years ago.

Though it might be unlikely that Scanlon or Rudy will need protection from prosecution for anything in Texas, Cobb said a prosecutor would be willing to testify in the federal case, at the two men’s expense, about their cooperation in the DeLay proceeding. Cobb said such offers are routine.

I’m trying to write something insightful, but I keep giggling before I can form a coherent thought. If Juanita doesn’t make it back from Austin after this, I will presume she’s been assumed bodily into heaven. For those of you who need a few extra chuckles, read the letters of character and support that were sent on DeLay’s behalf. Don’t blame me if you injure yourself while reading them.

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  1. Linkmeister says:

    DeLay chose to have state District Judge Pat Priest , a senior judge from San Antonio, set the punishment.

    Convicted felons get to choose which judge sentences them? What?

    This isn’t snark. I’m gobsmacked at that concept. Can you explain it?

  2. Linkmeister – Judge Priest presided over the trial. DeLay chose to have sentencing done by the judge rather than by the jury. The wording in that sentence was a bit awkward.

  3. Linkmeister says:

    Okay, thanks. I’m still a little surprised that the convicted man gets to choose whether he’s sentenced by the judge or the jury. One would think the concept of equal protection wouldn’t allow for the felon to cherry-pick.

  4. byron schirmbeck says:

    Ok, I guess I will post because Charles is probably too overwhelmed to post. Looks like Delay got 3 years in the pokey. He is supposed to be booked and out on an appeal bond. Why is it these high powered guys get to stay out of jail for months when they are sentanced but schmoes like you and me would be locked up on the spot?