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  • #46
    Also, one should acknowledge that only the Republicans have the internal rule that one must step down from leadership positions when under indictment. Nothing need be proven, and it's automatic. The Democrats, utterly devoid of any sense of shame or sense of duty, have no such rule for themselves.

    So, in order to cripple the Republican leadership, bogus charges are brought, and for the duration of the time that it takes for them to be swept away, the Democrats are free from one of their sharpest and toughest opponents, and in effect, they get to play the second string. All the while, they get to cluck their forked tongues about the 'ethical lapses' soooo common to their friends across the aisle.

    They make me sick. What's worse is the canine loyalty to this corrupt and unprincipled mob shown by their willing accomplices in the media. If anything destroys this democracy, it'll be this unholy alliance, warping public perceptions into a demogoguery that 'Kingfish' Long would've envied.

    The stakes of this game isn't just tactical control of government, or a partisan advantage in this or that branch of government. It is for something much, much greater, and the Democrats are willing to bet everything that make us Americans...so that they can get power again.

    Over my dead body.

    Comment


    • #47
      See if you can spot the relevant items in this editorial:

      Hammer Time
      Ronnie Earle finally gets his man.

      Thursday, September 29, 2005 12:01 a.m.

      Texas retribution went national yesterday with the indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay by Travis County (Austin) prosecutor Ronnie Earle. We've been critical of Mr. DeLay, but anyone who knows the history of Mr. Earle will not be rushing to judgment on this one.
      Not that the truth or falsity of the charges matters in immediate political terms. Mr. DeLay was obliged to "temporarily step aside" from his leadership post yesterday, even as he declared that "I am innocent" and that the charges were brought by an "unabashed partisan zealot." His resignation deals another blow to a GOP Congress already suffering from a lack of ideological direction. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi quickly pounced to declare this "the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued with a culture of corruption." Mr. Earle understood he could get his man merely by charging him.





      Who knows what a jury will decide, but the four-page indictment isn't much to go on. Mr. DeLay is accused with two associates of using corporate money to fund state legislative campaigns in violation of Texas campaign-finance laws. The indictment includes a copy of a check that it claims was money laundered through a political action committee. But the charge is for conspiracy, which because of its vagueness can be the easiest indictment to bring but the most difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
      Mr. Earle had indicted three other DeLay associates in the same case in September 2004, just six weeks before the last election. Followers of the case have speculated that, as he saw his legal bills mount, one of those three may have decided to testify against Mr. DeLay.

      The Majority Leader also deserves the presumption of innocence because of Mr. Earle's guilty past. A liberal Democrat, he has a history of indicting political enemies, Democrat and Republican, on flimsy evidence that didn't hold up in court. In the mid-1980s, he indicted Attorney General Jim Mattox, a rival of his ally Ann Richards, on bribery charges. Mr. Mattox was acquitted and won re-election.

      In 1993, he indicted Kay Bailey Hutchison, who'd just been elected to the U.S. Senate, on charges of misconduct and records tampering. Mr. Earle was forced to drop the case even before it went to trial. Earlier this year, the prosecutor delivered a widely criticized speech at a Democratic fund-raiser in which he compared his prosecutorial targets to "Mussolini and his fascists" and all but declared that he had Mr. DeLay in his sights.

      As for political motive, Mr. DeLay has earned the wrath of Democrats by beating them time and again at their own game. His re-redistricting of the Texas Congressional delegation before the 2004 election helped turn six House seats over to the GOP. Without his prodding, the House would never have voted to impeach Bill Clinton in 1998. And his fund-raising and arm-twisting have kept the GOP House majority both unified and re-elected for a decade.





      Democrats have learned from Newt Gingrich's rise to power that they can use ethics as a political weapon. And it's working, in so far as the Majority Leader's obvious preoccupation with his various ethics problems explains the Congressional GOP's aimlessness this year. Even before yesterday, Mr. DeLay was seriously weakened as a political force.
      And for that he has himself partly to blame. Our disagreement with the Majority Leader is that, as the GOP cemented itself in power, he let incumbency become more important than the principles that elected him in the first place.

      Mr. DeLay browbeat his colleagues--and kept the vote open for three hours--to pass a giant new Medicare entitlement that will bedevil taxpayers and Republicans for decades. Only two weeks ago, he declared that the GOP had cut everything from the federal Leviathan that it possibly could; a week later he was back-tracking under pressure from his own supporters. His worst ethics problems--at least until yesterday--had developed because he stood by as former aides and cronies made themselves rich as influence peddlers by invoking his name.

      As a Republican who came to power after Democrat Jim Wright's fall as Speaker, Mr. DeLay had to know he too could become an ethics target. He made himself vulnerable nonetheless. Republicans are speaking up for him, in part because they know Mr. Earle's record. But yesterday they also elected Missouri's Roy Blunt as their new Majority Leader, and Mr. DeLay is unlikely ever to be the same fund-raising resource for GOP Members. The bitter irony is that his ethics problems now jeopardize the GOP majority he did so much to build.


      Copyright 2005 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Bluesman
        I notice that the MSNBC story didn't mention that Earle is cooperating on a movie being made about him. Is there anything relevant about that? Of course there is. And no mention of it in the article.

        THIS is the MSM in action. Or inaction. Take your pick.
        You make me want to hook a set of come-a-longs to your neck and jack you back towards the middle of the road...JUST A LITTLE.

        Now if I had posted everything about this man....it would probably be way too lengthy. I only wanted to depict that he not only targets Republicans, but has in past, targeted Democrats as well.

        Does prosecutors go for high-profile cases.....sure as heck they do....all day long. It builds their reputation as a strong official. The movies about what they do....not unusual.....that's even better.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Julie
          You make me want to hook a set of come-a-longs to your neck and jack you back towards the middle of the road...JUST A LITTLE.

          Now if I had posted everything about this man....it would probably be way too lengthy. I only wanted to depict that he not only targets Republicans, but has in past, targeted Democrats as well.

          Does prosecutors go for high-profile cases.....sure as heck they do....all day long. It builds their reputation as a strong official. The movies about what they do....not unusual.....that's even better.
          My point was, the article was all about Earle's media image. His relationship with publicity. His seeking the high profile that he has embraced.

          That was the subject of the story, and yet no mention of the Ronnie Earle Movie. Does this not strike you as a glaring ommission?

          Well, it is to me.

          Comment


          • #50
            Also, the Democrats he has targeted have been the ones that oppose HIS Democrats.

            Partisan.

            Zealot.

            It doesn't take a middle of the road perspective to see that both parts of that proposition are true.

            Comment


            • #51
              Looks like Tom Delay is now facing another grand jury indictment in Texas. This new charge is for money laundering. It's Earle again.


              Texas Grand Jury Indicts DeLay for Money Laundering

              The Associated Press
              Monday, October 3, 2005; 6:08 PM (Updated)

              AUSTIN A Texas grand jury today indicted U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay on a charge of money laundering, less than a week after another grand jury leveled a conspiracy charge that forced DeLay to temporarily step down as House majority leader.

              DeLay and two political associates are accused 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 money laundering charge was the first action from a new Travis County grand jury, which started their term today. It came just hours after DeLay's attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the case.

              The motion was based on the argument that the conspiracy charge against DeLay was based on a law that wasn't effective until 2003, the year after the alleged money transfers.

              "Since the indictment charges no offense, and since you have professed not to be politically motivated in bringing this indictment, I request that you immediately agree to dismiss the indictment so that the political consequences can be reversed," attorney Dick DeGuerin wrote in a letter to Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle.

              DeLay's associates, John Colyandro of Austin and Jim Ellis of Washington, were each indicted on a money laundering charge last week. Money laundering is a charge under the criminal code, not the election code.

              "Ronnie Earle has stooped to a new low with his brand of prosecutorial abuse," DeLay said in a prepared statement. "He is trying to pull the legal equivalent of a 'do-over' since he knows very well that the charges he brought against me last week are totally manufactured and illegitimate. This is an abomination of justice."

              The judge that will preside in DeLay's case is out of the country on vacation and couldn't rule on the motion. Other state district judges declined to rule on the motion in his place, said Colleen Davis, a law clerk to Austin attorney Bill White, also represents DeLay.

              George Dix, a professor at the University of Texas law school who is an expert in criminal law and procedure, said he doesn't believe changes made to the Texas election code by the 2003 legislature have any effect on the conspiracy charge.

              The penal code's conspiracy charge allows for the charge if the defendants allegedly conspired to commit any felony, including an election code felony.

              Just because the election code was "silent" on the penal code provision until 2003, it doesn't mean it wasn't a valid charge before 2003, Dix said.

              "To me it just says, 'We really mean what we said implicitly before,' " Dix said

              Houston Chronicle
              Last edited by Broken; 04 Oct 05,, 00:50.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Bluesman
                Also, one should acknowledge that only the Republicans have the internal rule that one must step down from leadership positions when under indictment. Nothing need be proven, and it's automatic. The Democrats, utterly devoid of any sense of shame or sense of duty, have no such rule for themselves.
                Excuse me? Jim Wright stepped down as Dem Speaker when he was called for violating House ethics rules. Delay had been been called for ethics violations three times. Did he step down? No, he blamed the Dems, of course. That was too much even for Newt Gingrich:

                His (Delay's) written statement is an effort to rally support after a week in which two House Republicans urged him to step aside as leader and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said it was time for DeLay to stop blaming Democrats and do more to explain himself and address the mounting criticism. From April 19 - Wash Post

                They make me sick. What's worse is the canine loyalty to this corrupt and unprincipled mob shown by their willing accomplices in the media. If anything destroys this democracy, it'll be this unholy alliance, warping public perceptions into a demogoguery that 'Kingfish' Long would've envied.
                You will be glad to know Delay has fixed the "unholy alliance":

                Meanwhile, anyone looking for signs of the ongoing influence of DeLay Inc. will find another one today. It's the starting date for Time Warner Inc.'s new vice president for global public policy. The new executive is Tim Berry, former chief of staff to Tom DeLay.

                LINK

                By the way, Time-Warner is the parent of CNN.
                Last edited by Broken; 04 Oct 05,, 03:26.

                Comment


                • #53
                  http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/...ves/005560.php

                  The grudge match between Ronnie Earle and Tom DeLay went from blatantly political to surreal yesterday after Earle managed to get an indictment within hours of empaneling a grand jury that had eluded him for months with a previous panel. After DeLay's attorney Dick De Guerin filed an expected motion for an expected dismissaal of the indictment Earle issued, one that lacked any mention of lawbreaking on DeLay's part, Earle's sudden ability to add money laundering to the charges raised eyebrows throughout the legal world:

                  The new indictment was brought on the first day of deliberations by a newly empaneled grand jury in Austin. The grand jury that brought the original conspiracy charges against Mr. DeLay, and which had been investigating the lawmaker for months, was disbanded last week.
                  Without an explanation from the prosecutors, local criminal law specialists seemed perplexed by Mr. Earle's actions, saying they may reflect an effort by the prosecutor to ensure that some charge sticks to Mr. DeLay even if the conspiracy indictment is dimissed.

                  George E. Dix, a law professor at the University of Texas and a specialist in criminal procedures, speculated that prosecutors "saw a potential problem" with the conspiracy counts "and didn't want to hassle over it, so they went with a legal theory on money laundering that wouldn't present the same problems." He said if that was the case, it could be embarrassing to Mr. Earle because "it is a little awkward to have to change a theory before your horse is out of the gate." ...

                  Within hours, Mr. Earle responded with the new money-laundering indictment, brought before a grand jury that was in its first hours of operation. Mr. DeGuerin said in a telephone interview that the new grand jury could not have understood what it was approving: "These are 12 people who are newly sworn in, and just getting them oriented takes them all day
                  ."


                  Earle, in other words, appears to have abused the grand jury system to get an indictment that his previous panel denied him, and rightfully so. As has been pointed out numerous times, if the Republicans laundered money through the transactions Earle uses as evidence, then the Democrats did exactly the same thing -- and yet Earle, who raised over $100,000 for Democrats last May talking about this case, has done nothing to pursue them for either conspiracy or money-laundering:

                  At stake in 2002 was control of the Texas legislature, which was to redraw congressional district lines. Corporate contributions to legislative candidates are illegal in Texas. The DeLay aides stand accused of violating that prohibition, along with eight companies like Sears Roebuck that provided the funds. The corporate money, however, never went to the candidates. Instead, it went to a much larger fund for state elections controlled by the Republican National Committee in Washington. That committee made contributions to Texas legislative candidates, constituting what Earle now charges is "money laundering."

                  The only problem is that similar transactions are conducted by both parties in many states, including Texas. In fact, on October 31, 2002, the Texas Democratic Party sent the Democratic National Committee (DNC) $75,000, and on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $75,000. On July 19, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000 and, again on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000. On June 8, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000. That very same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000
                  .


                  District attorneys represent all of the community and as officers of the court have strict responsibilities to enforce the law equally, without bias or prejudice. Their actions can have far-reaching consequences as they have access to fairly one-sided legal mechanisms that can cause great havoc in the lives of citizens. For that reason, most states require DAs to hold to a high standard of personal conduct in their role as the legal representative of The People.

                  The quick issuance of this additional indictment shows that Earle not only has focused on DeLay for strictly personal and political reasons -- fixated might be a better word -- but that he fully understands that his original indictment had no chance of being upheld. He betrayed the trust invested in him as an officer of the court and used those mechanisms to push his personal, political goals. Not only should the state of Texas start an investigation into Earle's activities in abusing his office, but the state Bar should begin questioning his standing to remain an attorney at all.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/011864.php

                    ONE MORE THING: If I understand the news reports correctly, Earle just started scrambling around today, or at best within the last day or two, looking for a new grand jury with no prior knowledge of the DeLay matter. And he already had an indictment for "money laundering" by this afternoon? Unbelievable. If this is really correct, someone in Texas needs to take a hard look at their criminal justice system.

                    FINALLY, I PROMISE: The reprehensible Ronnie Earle admitted in a press conference on September 28 that he wasn't able to get a "money laundering" indictment out of the grand jury that had been sitting in this matter for goodness knows how many months. Now, in a matter of hours, he has gotten a brand new grand jury to return such an indictment--ex parte, with the grand jury hearing from no one but Earle and, presumably, a witness or two. It might be possible to imagine a more partisan, corrupt prosecutor than Ronnie Earle, but that's a thought experiment I'd rather not conduct.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by mtnbiker
                      http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/...ves/005560.php

                      The grudge match between Ronnie Earle and Tom DeLay went from blatantly political to surreal yesterday after Earle managed to get an indictment within hours of empaneling a grand jury that had eluded him for months with a previous panel. After DeLay's attorney Dick De Guerin filed an expected motion for an expected dismissaal of the indictment Earle issued, one that lacked any mention of lawbreaking on DeLay's part, Earle's sudden ability to add money laundering to the charges raised eyebrows throughout the legal world:

                      The new indictment was brought on the first day of deliberations by a newly empaneled grand jury in Austin. The grand jury that brought the original conspiracy charges against Mr. DeLay, and which had been investigating the lawmaker for months, was disbanded last week.
                      Without an explanation from the prosecutors, local criminal law specialists seemed perplexed by Mr. Earle's actions, saying they may reflect an effort by the prosecutor to ensure that some charge sticks to Mr. DeLay even if the conspiracy indictment is dimissed.

                      George E. Dix, a law professor at the University of Texas and a specialist in criminal procedures, speculated that prosecutors "saw a potential problem" with the conspiracy counts "and didn't want to hassle over it, so they went with a legal theory on money laundering that wouldn't present the same problems." He said if that was the case, it could be embarrassing to Mr. Earle because "it is a little awkward to have to change a theory before your horse is out of the gate." ...

                      Within hours, Mr. Earle responded with the new money-laundering indictment, brought before a grand jury that was in its first hours of operation. Mr. DeGuerin said in a telephone interview that the new grand jury could not have understood what it was approving: "These are 12 people who are newly sworn in, and just getting them oriented takes them all day
                      ."
                      I am surprised Captain Ed would be defending Delay. He is leaving out a lot of the story. TRMPAC has already been found guilty of breaking Texas election laws.:

                      A judge's ruling Thursday that the Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee broke state election laws in 2002 reverberated from the state Capitol to Washington, D.C.

                      State District Judge Joe Hart declared that the group's treasurer, former Dallas Rep. Bill Ceverha, violated the law by failing to disclose more than $600,000 in corporate money spent to help elect state GOP lawmakers.

                      He said Ceverha should pay $196,660 in damages to five defeated Democratic candidates who sued him, including former state Rep. Ann Kitchen of Austin. Ceverha also must pay attorney's fees, though he will appeal the decision.
                      Austin-American Statesman . (site requires registration).

                      So, it is not far-fetched that Delay, who started and ran TRMPAC, might have something to do with TRMPAC's violations.

                      Furthermore, Earle said last week that his investigation of Delay was "ongoing", so it shouldn't be too surprising that he had further indictments up his sleave. Earle won the money-laundering indictments from the new grand jury only four hours after Delay's lawyer filed his motion for dismissal. That couldn't have happened unless Earle was prepared. These new charges are far more serious than the conspiracy indictment last week. First degree felony money laundering carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

                      Captain Ed quotes law Professor Dix, but he left some important parts out:

                      Two criminal defense and election law experts interviewed by the Chronicle said Earle's original indictment of DeLay is likely to be upheld by the courts.

                      University of Texas law Professor George Dix said he wasn't sure why a new indictment was necessary because the Penal Code in 2002 made it a crime to conspire to commit any felony.

                      Dix said it was a felony in 2002 to use corporate money to try to influence the outcome of an election.

                      He said the fact the law was changed in 2003 to specifically include the election code under conspiracy should be irrelevant. "I don't see the necessity for the 2003 law," he said.
                      Houston Chronicle .
                      Earle, in other words, appears to have abused the grand jury system to get an indictment that his previous panel denied him, and rightfully so.
                      This is random speculation on Captain Ed's part. If the first grand jury was unconvinced of the money laundering charges after months of investigation, how come a new grand jury approved these charges in two hours? It must be pretty damning evidence for a jury to be convinced so quickly.

                      If we are going to speculate like Captain Ed, it would seem more likely that the first and lighter indictment was the result of "charge bargaining" between Delay and Earle. Hence the waiver of the statute of limitations by Delay's lawyer.

                      On the very last day before the original statute ran out, Delay files for dismissal and contests the waiver, hoping to catch Earle flat-footed. So Earle takes his already prepared second indictment to a new grand jury.
                      As has been pointed out numerous times, if the Republicans laundered money through the transactions Earle uses as evidence, then the Democrats did exactly the same thing -- and yet Earle, who raised over $100,000 for Democrats last May talking about this case, has done nothing to pursue them for either conspiracy or money-laundering:

                      At stake in 2002 was control of the Texas legislature, which was to redraw congressional district lines. Corporate contributions to legislative candidates are illegal in Texas. The DeLay aides stand accused of violating that prohibition, along with eight companies like Sears Roebuck that provided the funds. The corporate money, however, never went to the candidates. Instead, it went to a much larger fund for state elections controlled by the Republican National Committee in Washington. That committee made contributions to Texas legislative candidates, constituting what Earle now charges is "money laundering."

                      The only problem is that similar transactions are conducted by both parties in many states, including Texas. In fact, on October 31, 2002, the Texas Democratic Party sent the Democratic National Committee (DNC) $75,000, and on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $75,000. On July 19, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000 and, again on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000. On June 8, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000. That very same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000
                      .
                      This argument ignores the fact that it is perfectly legal for corporations to cover campaign "administrative" costs. However, $600,000 of Delay's TRMPAC money was used for to pay for phone banks and other direct political expenditures. This violated Texas election law. TRMPAC directly promised corporate donors that their money would go to the candidates:

                      "The defense for Ceverha also had argued that there was no direct evidence paper records, for example to prove that the intent of the corporate donors was to spend their money directly on political races.

                      But [Judge] Hart wrote that there is "overwhelming evidence" that allowed him to infer the intent of donors. He cited the committee's own written promises to donors that "every dollar you contribute will go directly toward helping win the tough races in November."
                      (This quote also from the Austin-American Statesman article linked above).

                      If Dems were also violated the corporate contribution law, I'm sure the Repubs will take them to court. So far, that hasn't been the case.
                      District attorneys represent all of the community and as officers of the court have strict responsibilities to enforce the law equally, without bias or prejudice. Their actions can have far-reaching consequences as they have access to fairly one-sided legal mechanisms that can cause great havoc in the lives of citizens. For that reason, most states require DAs to hold to a high standard of personal conduct in their role as the legal representative of The People.
                      Since Earle has prosecuted both Dems and Repubs, it is difficult to argue he has not enforced the law equally.
                      The quick issuance of this additional indictment shows that Earle not only has focused on DeLay for strictly personal and political reasons -- fixated might be a better word -- but that he fully understands that his original indictment had no chance of being upheld.
                      How does "the quick issuance of the additional indictment" show Earle is focused on Delay for personal reasons? Should Earle have issued them slowly? That is an impressive logical leap by Captain Ed.

                      Earle had to issue the indictments Monday before the statute of limitations ran out on Tuesday. It is obvious Earle has been sitting on these indictments for some time now. That was why Delay's lawyer waived the statute of limitations in the first place. Otherwise, Delay would have been facing these indictments back in August.
                      Last edited by Broken; 05 Oct 05,, 01:09.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Originally posted by mtnbiker
                        http://powerlineblog.com/archives/011864.php

                        ONE MORE THING: If I understand the news reports correctly, Earle just started scrambling around today, or at best within the last day or two, looking for a new grand jury with no prior knowledge of the DeLay matter. And he already had an indictment for "money laundering" by this afternoon? Unbelievable. If this is really correct, someone in Texas needs to take a hard look at their criminal justice system.

                        FINALLY, I PROMISE: The reprehensible Ronnie Earle admitted in a press conference on September 28 that he wasn't able to get a "money laundering" indictment out of the grand jury that had been sitting in this matter for goodness knows how many months. Now, in a matter of hours, he has gotten a brand new grand jury to return such an indictment--ex parte, with the grand jury hearing from no one but Earle and, presumably, a witness or two. It might be possible to imagine a more partisan, corrupt prosecutor than Ronnie Earle, but that's a thought experiment I'd rather not conduct.
                        That's hilarious. It would be fun to set Earle's record side-by-side with Delay's and see who is corrupt and partisan. Earle is such a goody two-shoes he even charged himself once, for filing his own election forms two days late.

                        What's going to happen when the Abramoff investigation issues indictments on Tom? As always, it will be the fault of the Democrats.

                        Compare these two quotes from Delay:

                        Incredibly, he [Clinton] actually blamed Kenneth Starr for his troubles. He might have well said that the devil made him do it. Ken Starr was simply doing his job. He was appointed by the attorney general to look into allegations of wrongdoing in this administration. And we look forward to seeing his report. But this isn't about Ken Starr. This is about a president who lacks the character to tell the American people the truth. And it is not just in this instance. It is the pattern of conduct that has stretched from this scandal to many of the other scandals that have bedeviled this administration. . . . The president should resign for the good of the country."

                        -- Tom DeLay, Aug. 18, 1998

                        This morning, in an act of blatant political partisanship, a rogue district attorney in Travis County, Texas, named Ronnie Earle charged me with one count of criminal conspiracy, a reckless charge wholly unsupported by the facts. This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history. It's a sham, and Mr. Earle knows it. It's a charge that cannot hold up even under the most glancing scrutiny. This act is the product of a coordinated, premeditated campaign of political retribution, the all-too-predictable result of a vengeful investigation led by a partisan fanatic.

                        -- DeLay, Sept. 28, 2005


                        Yeah, Tom has never been partisan.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Two stories today. One possibly good for Delay and one possibly not.

                          From the New York Times :

                          WASHINGTON (AP) -- A grand jury in Texas declined to indict former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and two of his associates last week before another grand jury indicted them on money laundering charges.

                          ''We have inquired carefully into the case'' and ''failed to find a bill of indictment against him,'' the grand jury said. A judge then issued an order of ''no-bill'' for DeLay and his associates Jim Ellis and John Colyandro.

                          Copies of the no-bill do not contain the alleged charges or offense dates, according to the Travis County district clerk's office.

                          DeLay, Ellis and Colyandro were indicted last week by a grand jury on a charge of criminal conspiracy to violate election laws. The indictment forced DeLay to step down as majority leader pending the outcome of the case.

                          Evidence was then heard by the grand jury that didn't indict. A third grand jury brought the money laundering charges Monday.

                          Dick DeGuerin, attorney for DeLay, sought to have the original conspiracy charge dismissed Monday by arguing in a court filing that the indictment was based on a law that the Legislature changed law in 2003. The indictment alleges that the illegal acts date to 2002. On the same day, a new Travis County grand jury brought an indictment against DeLay that included one count of conspiracy to launder money and one count of money laundering.

                          DeGuerin said Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle learned of his plan and went to a third grand jury to get the money laundering charges. DeGuerin accused Earle of ''trying to patch up a terrible blunder he made last week for indicting Mr. DeLay for something that wasn't a crime.''

                          But Earle said in a statement released late Tuesday that issues had arisen so he went to the second grand jury.

                          ''Out of an abundance of caution because of the passage of time, the district attorney's office presented some evidence of those allegations to another grand jury. That grand jury declined to indict on the last day of its regular term,'' on Sept. 28, Earle's statement said.

                          Earle said prosecutors found new evidence over the weekend and presented it to the third grand jury on Monday, leading to the new indictment on money laundering charges.

                          Earle did not release any details about the new evidence Tuesday.


                          From AP :

                          WASHINGTON - Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.

                          When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

                          Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture.

                          The complicated transactions are drawing scrutiny in legal and political circles after a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of violating Texas law with a scheme to launder illegal corporate donations to state candidates.

                          Blunt last week temporarily replaced DeLay as House majority leader, and Blunt's son, Matt, has now risen to Missouri's governor.

                          The government's former chief election enforcement lawyer said the Blunt and DeLay transactions are similar to the Texas case and raise questions that should be investigated regarding whether donors were deceived or the true destination of their money was concealed.

                          "These people clearly like using middlemen for their transactions," said Lawrence Noble. "It seems to be a pattern with DeLay funneling money to different groups, at least to obscure, if not cover, the original source," said Noble, who was the Federal Election Commission's chief lawyer for 13 years, including in 2000 when the transactions occurred.

                          None of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations DeLay collected for the 2000 convention were ever disclosed to federal regulators because the type of group DeLay used wasn't governed by federal law at the time.

                          DeLay has temporarily stepped aside as majority leader after being indicted by a Texas prosecutor.

                          Spokesmen for the two Republican leaders say they disclosed what was required by law at the time and believe all their transactions were legal, though donors might not always have know where their money was headed.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            EXCELLENT.


                            October 06, 2005, 7:33 a.m.
                            Ronnie Earle Should Not Be a Prosecutor
                            The abuses of power in the Tom DeLay case should offend Democrats and Republicans alike.



                            If there is one thing liberals and conservatives ought to be able to agree on, it is this: Ronnie Earle, district attorney of Travis County, Texas, has no business wielding the enormous powers of prosecution.




                            I don't know Congressman Tom DeLay, the House Majority Leader. I certainly don't know if he's done anything illegal, let alone something so illegal as to warrant indictment. It doesn't look like it and at least one grand jury has already refused to indict him (a fact Earle appears to have tried to conceal from the public as he scrambled to find a new grand jury that would). Yet experience shows it is foolhardy for those who don't know all the facts to hazard a judgment about such things.

                            One thing is sure, though, and it ought to make anyone who cares about basic fairness angry. The investigation of DeLay, a matter of national gravity is being pursued with shocking ethical bankruptcy by the district attorney by Ronnie Earle.

                            For nearly 20 years, I had the privilege of being a prosecutor in the best law-enforcement office in the United States, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Being a prosecutor is the world's greatest job because it is honest work for the highest cause service to one's own community. And it is work that has precious little to do with politics.

                            In their private lives, many of my fellow government lawyers were political independents, either by design (i.e., out of a conscious rectitude holding that law enforcement should be above politics) or because they were just apolitical. Most, as one would expect in New York, were Democrats. A large percentage, as, again, one would expect from a group of mostly young people educated in top schools, was proudly liberal. Over coffee, or lunch, or dinner, they and we few, hardy conservatives would have spirited debates over all manner of issues.

                            In the four corners of a case, however, none of that mattered a wit. Within those four corners, there were rules and responsibilities. There was recognition that prosecutors have breathtaking power over the lives of those they investigate. Power inarguably vital to the rule of law. But power which, if used recklessly or maliciously, can leave lives in tatters. The lives not only of the innocent and the guilty, but of the justice system itself.

                            This was especially so in investigations of political corruption. We prosecuted Republicans and Democrats, in about equal measure. The cases were hard, but checking your politics at the door was never hard, for at least two reasons.

                            First, there tends to be nothing ideological about the crimes committed by politicians. They are a stew of pettiness, greed and above-it-all arrogance over which neither party has a monopoly, and the offensiveness of which cuts across philosophical divides.

                            Second, some wrongs are simply not intended to be crimes. Among them are political wrongs: sleazy abuses of power, cronyism, most acts of nepotism, half-truths or outright lies in campaigns, etc. In a free society, these get sorted out in our bumptious political system. Usually, absent shades of financial fraud, bribery, and extortion, prosecutors should stay their hands. There are too many real crimes to waste resources on that sort of thing. More significantly, the risk of criminalizing politics would only discourage honest citizens from participating in matters of public concern.

                            The code prosecutors live by is not a liberal or conservative one. It is a code of ethics of nonpartisan, non-ideological honor. Of course many prosecutors are ambitious. Of course prosecutors want to win. But even the ambitious ones who care a bit too much about winning quickly learn that success is intimately tied to doing things the right way. And not least because that is the norm their colleagues follow as well as the standard by which the defense bar and the judiciary (populated by no small percentage of former prosecutors) scrutinize them. It is, moreover, the standard the public demands they meet.

                            People want to see the guilty convicted, but they also want to feel good about the way it is done. The prosecutor is the public's lawyer, and his duty is not merely to get the job done but to get it done right. The second part is just as crucial as the first. They are equal parts of doing justice. No one expects perfection, which is unattainable in any human endeavor. But if the outcomes of the justice system are to be regarded as legitimate, as befitting a decent society, people have to be confident that if they stood accused, the prosecutor would enforce their rights and make sure they got a fair fight.

                            So there are certain things that are just flat-out verboten. Most basic are these: to resist public comment about non-public, investigative information; to abjure any personal stake in the litigation that could suggest decisions regarding the public interest are being made to suit the prosecutor's private interests; and if all that is not Sesame Street simple enough to remain above any financial or political entanglement that could render one's objectivity and judgment suspect.

                            In the profession, these things come under the hoary rubric of "avoiding the appearance of impropriety." In layman's terms, they are about having an I.Q. high enough that you know to put your socks on before your shoes. This is bedrock stuff. It is central to the presumption of innocence, due process, and equal protection under the law that prosecutors owe even the most despicable offenders. It is foundational to the integrity of the system on which rest our security, our economy, and our freedoms.

                            And Ronnie Earle has flouted it in embarrassing, mind-numbingly brazen ways.

                            As Byron York has been reporting on NRO (see here, here, and here), Earle has partnered up with producers making a movie, called The Big Buy, about his Ahab's pursuit of DeLay. A movie about a real investigation? Giving filmmakers access to investigative information while a secret grand-jury probe is underway? Allowing them to know who is being investigated and why? To view proposed indictments even before the grand jury does? Allowing them into the sanctuary of the grand jury room, and actually to film grand jurors themselves? Creating a powerful incentive in conflict with the duty of evenhandedness to bring charges on flimsy evidence? For a prosecutor, these aren't just major lapses. They are firing offenses. For prosecutors such as those I worked with over the years, from across the political spectrum, I daresay they'd be thought firing-squad offenses.

                            Attending partisan fundraisers in order to speak openly about an ongoing grand jury investigation against an uncharged public official. As a moneymaking vehicle.

                            Penning a nakedly partisan op-ed (in the New York Times on November 23, 2004) about the political fallout of his grand-jury investigation of DeLay, then uncharged.

                            Settling cases by squeezing businesses to make hefty financial contributions to pet personal causes in exchange for exercising the public's power to dismiss charges.

                            Secretly shopping for new grand juries when, despite the incalculable advantages the prosecution has in that forum, the earlier grand jurors have found the case too weak to indict.

                            Ignoring the commission by members of his own party of the same conduct that he seeks to brand felonious when engaged in by members of the other party.

                            Such actions and tactics are reprehensible. They constitute inexcusably dishonorable behavior on the part of a public servant, regardless of whether the persons and entities investigated were in the wrong. They warrant universal censure.

                            If Congressman DeLay did something illegal, he, like anyone else, should be called to account. But he, like anyone else, is entitled to procedural fairness, including a prosecutor who not only is, but also appears to be, fair and impartial.

                            Ronnie Earle is not that prosecutor. He has disgraced his profession, and done grievous disservice to thousands of federal, state, and local government attorneys. Prosecutors of all persuasions whose common bond is a good faith commitment to the rules but who will now bear the burden of suspicions fostered by Earle's excesses.

                            The burden, but not the cost. That will be borne by the public.

                            Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              I say we revolt.......

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Tom Delay gets to plead his case in court. If he is found innocent, good for him and shame on Earle. If he is found guilty, shame on him, good for Earle.

                                It's that simple.

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