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New DeLay indictment

This is a bit of a surprise, since I hadn’t realized there was another grand jury in session.

A Texas grand jury today indicted U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering.

A different grand jury whose six-month term ended last week indicted him on a conspiracy charge, forcing DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader.

Both indictments accuse DeLay and two political associates of conspiring to get around a state ban on corporate campaign contributions by funneling the money through the DeLay-founded Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee to the Republican National Committee in Washington. The RNC then sent back like amounts to distribute to Texas candidates in 2002, the indictment alleges.

The new charge was the first action from a new Travis County grand jury, which started its term today. Another grand jury, which ended its term Sept. 28, handed up 41 indictments in the three-year investigation.

I presume this is a companion indictment to those handed down last September to the Colyandro/Ellis/RoBold triplets, as the original conspiracy indictment against DeLay is a bookend to the consipracy charges against Colyandro and Ellis. Looking back through my archives, I see that this is something for which Travis County DA Ronnie Earle does have jurisdiction, so that question is answered. I suspect the year-apart timing on these charges will fuel the speculation that someone (RoBold? Sears Roebuck?) flipped on DeLay. Stay tuned, as this is just the early wire-story version of this story – there’s sure to be more soon.

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  1. Ann Salisbury says:

    Looks like we’ve got ourselves a new party game: pin the indictment on the elephant.

  2. Charles M says:

    At the rate Tommie boy is going, he’s going to single handedly better the indictment count for the entire Clinton administration.

  3. Ellen says:

    I hadn’t realized there was another grand jury in session

    It is pretty unusual for a grand jury to start hearing cases on the first day they are seated. Travis County typically has 8 grand juries a year – 2 at a time, for 3 months each. One meets M-W and alt F; the other is T-Th and the other F.