This is just silly. Anyone with half a brain cell can see the partisanship in this whole thing, even moonbats just HAVE to have a few brain cells left. Delay will be cleared of these charges.
The indictment accuses DeLay of criminally conspiring to inject illegal corporate contributions into 2002 state elections that helped the Republican Party reorder the congressional map in Texas and cement its control of the House of Representatives in Washington.
The four-page indictment alleged for the first time that DeLay himself participated in a conspiracy with others to funnel corporate money into the 2002 state election “with the intent that a felony be committed.”
In the indictment, DeLay is accused of conspiring with two associates: John D. Colyandro, the former executive director of a political action committee in Texas that was formed by DeLay, and James W. Ellis, the head of DeLay’s national political committee. Colyandro and Ellis had previously been charged in an indictment that did not name DeLay.
DeLay helped organize the Texas election fundraising effort at the core of today’s indictment, Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, known as TRMPAC. The committee itself was indicted on Sept. 8 for accepting illegal corporate funds. Eight corporations and an industry lobbying group have also been indicted during the 34-month probe.
The indictment charges that DeLay entered “into an agreement” with Colyandro and Ellis to circumvent the state’s ban on corporate contributions by arranging for the donations to be sent first to an arm of the Republican National Committee in Washington, and then back to Republican candidates in Texas named on a written list prepared in Texas.
I mean look at this DA: (From May 19th, 2005)
Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who denies partisan motives for his investigation of a political group founded by Republican leader Tom DeLay, was the featured speaker last week at a Democratic fund-raiser where he spoke directly about the congressman.
A newly formed Democratic political action committee, Texas Values in Action Coalition, hosted the May 12 event in Dallas to raise campaign money to take control of the state Legislature from the GOP, organizers said.
Earle, an elected Democrat, helped generate $102,000 for the organization.
In his remarks, Earle likened DeLay to a bully and spoke about political corruption and the investigation involving DeLay, the House majority leader from Sugar Land, according to a transcript supplied by Earle.
Yeah, this DA is straight as an arrow, not one partisan bone in his body, laugh.
Plus we get this analysis from a DOJ official, via Michelle Malkin:
Ronnie Earle argues that Tom DeLay conspired to make a contribution to a political party in violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no contribution to a political party in violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no conspiracy. Ronnie Earle is wrong on the facts. Ronnie Earle is wrong on the law.
According to the indictment, the conspiracy was to unlawfully make a political contribution of corporate funds to a political party within 60 days of an election.
The Texas Election Code clearly states that “A corporation or labor organization may not knowingly make a contribution [to a political party] during a period beginning on the 60th day before the date of a general election for state and county officers and continuing through the day of the election.” Title 15, Texas Election Code, ? 253.104. Texas law also states in part that “A person commits criminal conspiracy if, with intent that a felony be committed: (1) he agrees with one or more persons that they or one or more of them engage in conduct that would constitute the offense; and (2) he or one or more of them performs an overt act in pursuance of the agreement.”
The Problems with Earle’s case:
In an effort to contrive jurisdiction over DeLay, Earle charges that because Congressman DeLay may have known about the transaction before it occurred, he was then part of a conspiracy.
However, Earle’s office has sworn testimony and other exculpatory evidence showing that Congressman DeLay did not have knowledge of the transaction.
No corporation or labor organization was indicted in this conspiracy. Neither Jim Ellis nor John Colyandro is a corporation or labor organization.
No corporation or labor organization made a contribution during 60 days of an election.
What constitutes a contribution under the Texas Election Code is not strictly defined.
Neither the RNC nor RNSEC constitute a political party under Texas election law. They are considered PACs, just as the DNC is.
Corporations in Texas could have legally made contributions to the RNC or RNSEC during the period in question under Texas election law.
There was no violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no conspiracy. The underlying transaction was legal. Had corporations sent money directly to the RNC or RNSEC, the transaction would be legal. How could anyone conspire to do indirectly what could legally have been done directly?
Mark Levin has more:
The “facts” in the indictment do not make a case for illegal contributions by the corporations because the indictment doesn’t even allege that the corporate contributions were made within 60 days of an election. The essential argument is that a contribution was made to the RNC from a Texas PAC, which had received these corporate contributions (the dates of which we don’t know), and certain candidates in Texas received money (presumably from the RNC), although not necessarily tracking with the corporate contributions to the PAC. If this sounds convoluted, it is. Based on this information, I see no illegal contribution, let alone no tie to Tom DeLay. I also note that none of the corporations that made contributions have been indicted. (And, by the way, the Texas conspiracy statute requires evidence that those charged actually intended to commit a crime. So, the bar for the government is significant.) The more I analyze this, the more outrageous this appears. I only hope the mainstream media will do a better job reporting on this than on Hurricane Katrina.
Steven Spruiell has some great anaylsis also:
The indictment centers around a money swap that took place between the Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC), to which DeLay has ties, and the Republican National State Elections Committee (RNSEC). TRMPAC sent $190,000 to RNSEC, and RNSEC then sent the same total amount in seven checks ranging from $20,000 to $40,000 to Texas House candidates in 2002. Travis County DA Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, calls this money laundering, because the money that TRMPAC sent to RNSEC came from corporations, which are barred from contributing to campaigns in Texas.
What you won’t hear in the press is that A) This is a perfectly legal move, and B) the Democrats did the exact same thing. An Institute on Money in State Politics study reveals that on Oct. 31, 2002, the Texas Democratic Party did the same thing when it sent $75,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and received $75,000 back from the DNC the very same day.
Here’s what I wrote about this case last summer:
Just to put this $190,000 deal into perspective and demonstrate the petty, vindictive nature of this partisan investigation, the study also reveals that Democrats transferred a total of approximately $11 million dollars in soft money from its national parties to fund Texas campaigns in 2002, compared to $5.2 million transferred by Republicans.
I’ve been watching TV all day and no one has provided this context. I’ll keep watching to see if the coverage gets more than fingernail-deep.
Bottom line: Even people who aren’t fans of Tom DeLay should show some intellectual honesty and admit that this is an out-of-control prosecutor and a phony charge.
More on Earle:
All roads in the CBS memo scandal traverse Travis County. Dan Rather was the special guest at a 2001 fundraiser for the Travis County Democratic Party, and his daughter is active in the organization. Former National Guardsman Bill Burkett, the unstable Bush-baiter, who now claims he was the source of the forged documents, is represented (and many believe directed) by David Van Os, the former Travis County Democratic Party chairman.
Now Travis County district attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat with a history of bringing politically motivated indictments, has indicted three DeLay aides who ran a political action committee called Texans for a Republican Majority PAC. Perhaps recognizing that indicting DeLay himself 41 days before an election would be just too transparent, Earle instead indicted the three underlings for allegedly directing corporate contributions to Texas legislative candidates in 2002.
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.
EARLE’S LAST FORAY INTO politicized prosecution in 1993 turned into a huge embarrassment when he went after Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), who was then Texas Treasurer. Earle made a series of trumped-up charges, including that the demure Hutchison had physically assaulted an employee. Earle dropped the case during the trial.
DeLay has been the target of previous legal harassment. Four years ago, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, under the chairmanship of Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), filed a lawsuit under RICO, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. RICO was designed as a tool against organized crime, but Kennedy argued that DeLay’s relationships with Washington lobbyists amounted to “extortion.” Even some liberal commentators criticized the suit as frivolous. It was eventually thrown out.
I’m telling you this is going to go nowhere. Lots of Republican bloggers are worrying over nothing, they worry that he will be dragged through the mud and the GOP will be along for the ride. My answer to this is – since when is this any different then yesterday. The MSM, the Socialist left and the Dummycrats attempt this kind of thing day in and day out. Don’t get all worked up over this. In the end Earle will look like a fool AGAIN, and Delay will be fine…so will the GOP. Don’t take the American public for fools, they will see this is partisanship.
I will end this post with one question, where is the indictment for Schumer?
Schumer Staffers Eyed in Probe of Political ID Theft
By Deborah Orin
New York Post
September 22, 2005
Two staffers on a Democratic political committee headed by Sen. Chuck Schumer are being investigated by the FBI for an alleged dirty trick ? getting a Republican candidate’s credit report illegally, officials confirmed yesterday….
Sources familiar with the situation said the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s] head of research, Katie Barge, and a deputy, Lauren Weiner, got the credit report by using Steele’s Social Security number, which they say they obtained from public documents….
The U.S. Attorney’s office confirmed that it was alerted by the committee but declined to say whether it is or could become a target of the probe.