Friday, November 11, 2005

Tom DeLay's lost plea

From the Post:

Lawyers for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) tried unsuccessfully in late September to head off felony criminal indictments against the then-majority leader on charges of violating Texas campaign law by signaling that DeLay might plead guilty to a misdemeanor, according to four sources familiar with the events.

The lawyers' principal aim was to try to preserve DeLay's leadership position under House Republican rules that bar lawmakers accused of felonies from holding such posts. DeLay was forced to step down as leader on Sept. 28 after the first of two grand jury indictments.

Plus, it looks like DeLay may have admitted to the crime. Indeed, he may be Ronnie Earle's chief witness to the crime. At an Aug. 17 meeting with Earle, "DeLay acknowledged that in 2002 he was informed about and expressed his support for transfers of $190,000 in mostly corporate funds from his Texas political action committee to an arm of the Republican National Committee in Washington and then back to Texas".

Read the whole article. It provides an excellent overview of the DeLay case (and, of course, DeLay's misdeeds).


Around the blogosphere:

Kevin Drum at Political Animal: "This is bizarre. DeLay knew that Earle believed the plan to be illegal. Even if he disagreed, why would he admit to knowing anything about it? What good could that possibly do him? Anyway, it turns out that DeLay's admission is the only evidence Earle has against him. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I sure hope DeLay has fired whatever lawyer told him it was OK to chat about this stuff with a guy who's been trying to put him in jail for the past three years."

Steve Benen at The Carpetbagger Report: "For all his public denials about his involvement in the money-laundering scheme, here was DeLay admitting to a prosecutor about his role and understanding of the transactions, effectively making him part of the conspiracy to circumvent election law."

See also AMERICAblog, Firedoglake, The Stakeholder, and, on the right (and one of the better voices on the right), John Cole at Balloon Juice.

Correction: I still think that John Cole is one of the better voices on the right, but the post in question was written by a new liberal blogger at Balloon Juice, Tim F. Tim e-mailed me this evening and referred to himself as "an unhinged liberal sort of guy". I can't confirm or deny his alleged state of unhingedness (he certainly seems to be fully hinged), but his stuff looks good so far, and, as they say, I think it speaks volumes about John that he's brought on a liberal, even a possibly unhinged one, as a second writer at his blog. As some of you know, I've been making efforts here to reach out to the best voices from across the spectrum, whatever my own mostly liberal leanings, and Balloon Juice is certainly one of the blogs I recommend.

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