December 5, 2005

DeLay Okay Today, I'd Say

Hatched by Dafydd

The first shoe dropped on the head of obsessed District Attorney Ronnie Earle today, as Texas Judge Pat Priest threw out one of the two felony charges against Tom DeLay. Priest declined to throw out the second charge on the legal grounds that DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, had offered. But this simply clears the deck for a subsequent motion that Priest will now hear, calling for the second charge also to be thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct.

DeGuerin had asked to have the indictments dismissed because of prosecutorial misconduct. Priest said he would hear that motion only if he upheld the indictments against the legal challenges. [Emphasis added.]

Ordinarily, such motions are pro-forma; but in this particular case, Ronnie Earle -- the "Inspector Javert" of Travis County -- engaged in such egregious and obvious personal targetting of Tom DeLay that the misconduct motion is probably the stronger of the two. Earle had to run through three separate grand juries before finally finding one that was willing to return an indictment that wasn't invalid on its face. The second grand jury actually refused to indict after hearing the evidence... a fact that was not revealed to the third. The third grand jury finally indicted after only hearing four hours of testimony.

And then it turned out that Earle's major piece of evidence, a document supposedly detailing a list of Texas politicians that the Republican National State Elections Committee was allegedly supposed to funnel money to on behalf of Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority PAC, did not actually exist. The DA's office didn't actually have this alleged document. Here is how I described the stunning lapse in an earlier post:

He was unable to produce "said" document. Not that he didn't produce A document; he simply said he was "unable to authoritatively confirm" that it was in fact THE document mentioned in the indictment. However, he rallied, the document he produced was "factually similar" to the document upon which the entire indictment rested!

Brian Wilson reported that the document contained names of several Texas politicians, some of whom had received money from the RNSEC and some of whom had not. I suppose this is "factually similar" to the actual document they allege existed in that both are pieces of paper, both have words printed on them, and both contain lists of names of prominent Texans. I eagerly await testimony from an eyewitness who claims he saw someone in a conspiratorial meeting... he won't be able to swear it was actually Tom DeLay, but it was surely someone who was "factually similar" to DeLay, in that he was a male and had some funny sort of accent.

Read all about it here and here, on Big Lizards, of course -- your one-slog blogging center for DeLay DeLights.

The primary legal reason that DeGeurin offered for quashing the money-laundering charge, the one that remains, was such a technicality that I don't think I would have thrown it out on those grounds myself:

[T]he definition of money laundering did not include checks until 2005. TRMPAC transferred the $190,000 in corporate money to the RNC by using a check.

Oh, puh-leez! This is definitely one you argue to a judge, not a jury, because a jury would probably leap right out of the jury box and pummel you with their notebooks, if that were your only defense.

But now the decks have been cleared. DeGuerin will certainly now ask Judge Priest to hear the misconduct motion... and on that one, I think there is an excellent chance Tom DeLay will prevail. To allow this to go forward gives political DAs a green light to keep empaneling grand jury after grand jury, until they finally get one that gives them the results they demand.

So don't let the mainstream media spin you into losing heart, thinking that DeLay "suffered a blow" that "dashed his hopes." The legal problems have taken their toll on Earle's folly, and now we move to the ethical problems. As far as Ronnie Earlie is concerned, as they used to say on the old Batman TV show, the wildest is yet to come.

So tune in after the next ruling -- same moonbat time, same moonbat channel!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 5, 2005, at the time of 4:23 PM

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The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Sounds like a job for Lucy Ramirez, professional Texas document finder.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 5, 2005 9:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi

Frankly, i'd love to see Delay tried for treason, sedition, and rampant vote-whoring over Terri's Law.
But i guess that isn't gonna happen.

The above hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 5, 2005 9:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: Jim,MtnViewCA,USA

As you cover this, I'd be interested to hear more about the video crew that followed Mr Earle around for months. Did he basically tell them that he was going to "get" Rep Delay?
Maybe there is nothing sleazy about this documentary angle but on the face of it, it is certainly curious....

The above hissed in response by: Jim,MtnViewCA,USA [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 5, 2005 10:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

Re: matoko kusanagi at December 5, 2005 09:41 PM

The Congress forced the Court to do NO MORE than take another look at the case, and the Court was so "intimidated" that it basically said, "screw you Congress!" So, what was so egregious? If members of the family hadn't taken it to court in the first place, because they couldn't agree, Congress would have nothing to say about it. But that's not how it happened.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 6, 2005 5:24 AM

The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi

Any lawyer worth his salt would have known terri's law was a no-op. It required no new data introduced. It was cynical vote-whoring at the most extreme.
The supremes had already rejected the case four times, and it was tried on the old evidence in Fla courts seven times. States rights anyone?
A play to the consituents, is all. A weekend vote? Please.
Delay should be tried for treason in that he put his own interests above his country's.
And for his Pork Positions too.

The above hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 6, 2005 11:36 AM

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