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Statement from Chris Bell on TRMPAC ruling

Chris Bell has released the following statement regarding the TRMPAC ruling:

“Judge Hart’s ruling provides a good faith basis for the House Ethics Committee to now investigate Tom DeLay’s involvement with TRMPAC. The committee originally chose to hold off taking any action on that count of my complaint pending a decision by the Travis County grand jury. Now that a district judge has found TRMPAC’s conduct to be illegal, a decision by the grand jury should not be necessary. The American people deserve to know what Tom DeLay’s role was in this illegal fundraising scheme.”

Here’s the letter that the House Ethics Committee sent to DeLay last October. Note the following passage:

In addition, a state criminal investigation of the 2002 election activities of the Texans for a Republican Majority PAC, with which you were involved during the period in question, is underway. While Committee action on Count II of the complaint regarding those activities has been deferred pending further action in the state cases and investigation, the Committee will act on the underlying allegations at an appropriate time.

I rather doubt, given its made-in-his-image roster, that the Ethics Committee will take any action on DeLay until after the criminal cases have been disposed of, but it’s good to be reminded of this.

The Raw Story is quick on the uptake and has some further reaction from Bell:

“Obviously he was hoping the judge would rule in favor of the defendants and he would have declared it a great victory,” former Texas Rep. Chris Bell told RAW STORY Thursday. “And now I think that he has to realize that his arguments aren’t going anywhere, and the web is getting bigger and bigger.

“I think it also has to be somewhat of a wakeup call for his colleagues that have already been indicted that their arguments could very well fail,” he added. “And if they do, I think that might motivate some of them to start spilling the beans about exactly what transpired.”

A Roll Call story (no link, I got it in email) today notes that this is still not over:

Terry Scarborough of Hance Scarborough Wright Woodward & Weisbart, Ceverha’s lawyer, immediately said his client would appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court once Hart issues a final decision (today’s decision was only a finding by the judge). “We feel strongly this decision is wrong,” Scarborough said in a statement released by his office. “We will vigorously appeal this ruling immediately if Judge Hart allows us to do so.”

Any time a ruling like this goes to the Texas Supremes you have to be worried. Still, I’d rather be in the plaintiffs’ position right now than that of Bill Ceverha and his buddies.

If you’re in Austin, there will be a press conference by the victorious attorney in this case at 2 PM:

WHAT: Press conference
WHO: Cris Feldman, plaintiff¹s attorney
WHERE: 1005 Congress, basement conference room
DAY: Today, Thursday, May 25
TIME: 2 p.m. Texas time

Contact: Jason Stanford
(512) 457-1909

I’m sure there’s more to come soon. Such a nice thing to have happen just before a holiday weekend, isn’t it?

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  1. Mike Cable says:

    Does this mean Earle’s investigation is about to hit warp speed? I hope so.

  2. Patience Mike, regardless the spin from the right, we are witnessing nothing more than a slow death.

  3. Mathwiz says:

    Any time a ruling like this goes to the Texas Supremes you have to be worried.

    Agreed. Has Priscilla Owned resigned to take her new Federal judgeship yet? It would reduce the risk a bit if the case hits while her seat is vacant.

  4. You’ve Got a Week

    One more piece of the puzzle… Business group must reveal data [Chron] A long-awaited ruling from the Texas Supreme Court on Friday requires the Texas Association of Business to answer questions about how it raised $2 million spent in targeted…