Let's hope not. He is one of the best friends we have in Congress.
Conspiracy Charges Possible for Tom Delay
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's leadership post is on the line today as a Travis County grand jury is expected to consider indicting DeLay on conspiracy charges, several lawyers familiar with the investigation said.
The charges would stem from the DeLay's role in using corporate money in the 2002 elections. State law generally bans corporate money from campaign activities.
"I wouldn't have expected this a year ago," one Austin criminal defense lawyer said. "It's quite a turnaround if it happens."
Those same lawyers, though, expect the grand jury to take no action against Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond or state Reps. Diane Delisi and Beverly Woolley for their roles in the election. The lawyers requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the grand jury's discussions.
Grand jury proceedings are secret, and jurors took no action Tuesday. Even as DeLay, a Republican from Sugar Land, continued to insist that he did nothing wrong, his defense team has been bracing for the worst.
An indictment would not force DeLay to resign as a member of Congress, but the GOP's rules would demand that he resign his post as majority leader.
Wednesday's secret vote by the grand jury could mark the end of a three-year investigation into whether DeLay and his Republican and business allies illegally spent corporate money to help elect a Republican majority to the Legislature in 2002. In turn, state lawmakers drew congressional districts urged by DeLay that gave Texas Republicans more clout in Washington. The lawmakers also elected Craddick, a Republican from Midland and a DeLay ally, as their speaker.
DeLay had appeared to escape criminal scrutiny as early as last year when Travis County prosecutors concluded that they did not have the jurisdiction to pursue election code violations against him. Under the law, only DeLay's local district attorney, a Republican, had jurisdiction, and he expressed no interest in trying to topple the second most powerful Texan in Washington.
But a conspiracy charge would fall under the criminal code, not the election statute that bans corporate money from being spent on a campaign.
That tactic is what defense lawyers fear — and would give Travis County prosecutors jurisdiction over DeLay.
A conspiracy charge would likely allege that DeLay worked with others to circumvent state law.
But DeLay's political committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, as well as the Texas Association of Business, used corporate money on what GOP officials claimed was committee overhead or issue advertising and not campaign-related activity.
Prosecutors have investigated whether the money actually was spent in connection with a campaign.
Over the past year, Travis County grand jurors have indicted three DeLay associates — John Colyandro, Jim Ellis and Warren Robold — as well as eight corporate donors, the Texas Association of Business and DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority.
In recent days, the broad-based investigation has focused on one particular transaction that could tie back to DeLay.
In late September 2002, Colyandro, the executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority, sent a blank check to Ellis, who is DeLay's primary fundraiser in Washington.
According to the money-laundering indictment returned against those two, Ellis was accused of having the Republican National Committee launder $190,000 of corporate donations into noncorporate money to seven Texas House candidates, including Austinites Jack Stick and Todd Baxter.
If the grand jury takes action against DeLay, several lawyers expect it be related to that transaction.
As late as Tuesday, Travis County prosecutors were interviewing Republican National Committee staffers about their roles in the transaction.
Even if DeLay is indicted, many Republicans will breathe a sigh of relief that Craddick and others won't be indicted.
Theoretically, prosecutors could ask another grand jury to consider charges between now and the Nov. 2 anniversary of the 2002 election, when a three-year statute of limitations expires. But the defense lawyers expect today to be the last chance for 2002 allegations.
"What will you know in October," one defense lawyer said, "that you didn't know the past six months?"
FOXNEWS just stated that he was indicted on conspiracy charges and has to step down in the leasdership of the house
The same Democrat DA also brought an indictment against Kay Bailey Hutchinson and the charges were thrown out almost immediately
The key word here is "charges"!
Yes! Because members of Congress can do no wrong!
He may be pro-gun, but I'm sick of these fucking career politicians doing as they please with no regard for the law.
Well of course, the abuses of Rostentowski, Torricelli, and Trafficante tell us that's not true. But considering the Democrats have gone slightly insane from losing elections, that they don't care whether their allegations are true or not so long as they can damage their enemies, and that this prosecutor has a history or spurious and politically-motivated indictments of his political enemies in the past, you can be sure this is just more of the same.
Democrats have been trying to get DeLay all year. But the last time they tried, they should have done a little more research before they launched their attack. Democrat Congresscritters were far more guilty of the violations they accused DeLay of, including their minority House leader!
So good luck, but remember unless the goal is just to generate bad ink for DeLay and harrass him, they need an actual case in order to get their charges to stick. And I really really doubt the Democrats have anything.
The dumbocrats have a lot of time on their hands.
The charge is conspiracy, the easiest for long-time witch hunter Ronnie Earl has been hounding Republicans for over 10 years. This is only an INDICTMENT, not a CONVICTION. Under REpublican rules, Rep Delay must step down from his LEADERSHIP position.
If you knew Ronnie Earl, you would know he has WASTED Travis County funds and abused his office by MANY ill-fated witch hunt indictments. He is a WASTE of taxpayer money.
Earl is still mad over the redistricting of Texas where the Democrats, lacking a majority, fled out of state to avoid a quorem, delaying this CONGRESSIONALLY MANDATED FUNCTION. The Republican majority in the Texas Congress was assisted by Rep. Delay.