DeLay hit with second indictment; lawyer blasts both

On the same day that Tom DeLay's legal team mounted a strong challenge to the indictment that came out last week, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle announced another indictment.

KTRK-13 has posted the Associated Press story. At the time of this post, Chron.com is running a version of the AP coverage as well. The Dallas Morning News, New York Times, and Washington Post have all posted original, lengthy reporting on the matter.

In fairness, those newspapers aren't still recovering from the HARD WORK of putting out a newspaper during a big news event.

DeLay's attorney Dick DeGuerin appeared on the Abrams report earlier tonight. That transcript is reproduced beneath the [Read More] link.

UPDATE (10-04-2005): PowerLine weighs in on the legal maneuvering.

Also, Chron.com finally has posted original coverage by R.G. Ratcliffe and Clay Robison. Ronnie Earle, who seems to crave the media (and film) spotlight, refused to take calls from the Chronicle.

Abrams: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the program. First up on the docket tonight, this breaking news we've been reports here on MSNBC that a Texas grand jury has indicted Representative Tom DeLay on a new charge of money laundering. Now, remember, this is in addition to a charge he has already been indicted on and that was conspiracy with regard to Texas election law. We are trying to figure out exactly what the allegation is. We're joined now on the phone by Dick DeGuerin, the attorney for Tom DeLay. Thanks for coming back on the program. I haven't even had a chance to look at this indictment. Tell me what it's about.

DeGuerin: I haven't seen it either but I'll tell you what happened. Earlier today, a motion was filed that spelled out for Ronnie earl Earle in term that is he could even understand that there is no such thing as a conspiracy to violate the Texas election code. So the original indictment doesn't charge a crime. So I guess this is his reaction that he had to rush back to the grand jury and charge some other crime.

Abrams: So you think literally, today, today, he went to a grand jury in the afternoon and got an indictment on money laundering that quickly?

DeGuerin: Apparently, after all the motions spell out there's no conspiracy to violate the election code. It's just real clear, there's no such crime. So apparently in response to that that, he rushed before another grand jury.

Abrams: And again, and and we've talked about this before, you appreciate how severe the allegation that you're making against the district attorney is. The notion that this district attorney went to a grand jury in response to you filing a legal motion and as a result, got a grand jury to indict your client is a very serious allegation.

DeGuerin: I think that's exactly what happened, Dan. And make no bones about it, if you look at what we filed, it's just clear as a bell. There's no conspiracy to violate the Texas election code. Ronnie Earle should have known that because before they issued the first indictment but this is apparently like a band-aid, some kind of patchwork to make up for the fact that they issued an indictment for something that's not a crime first.

Abrams: All right. And just reading for the associated press and again, this is breaking news. This is happening right now. We're on the phone with the attorney for tom delay. Both indictments, meaning the conspiracy charge t hat we've been talking about and this money laundering charge, both indictments accused Tom DeLay and two political associates of conspires to get around the state ban on corporate campaign contributions by -- republican majority political action committee and the republican action committee, they say then sent it back to the Texas candidate. So we're really talking dick, about two allegations, two different grand juries, but stemming from he same set of facts, correct?

DeGuerin: I haven't sent second indictment, Dan. But what I can say to you is, this is obviously reaction to him realizing, maybe he read my motion, maybe he didn't. But it's a reaction to him realizing that what he charged in the first indictment simply is not a crime.

Abrams: Is it possible that what he did is recognized that the public response to a conspiracy charge, people saying, oh, conspiracy, not the actual crime, etcetera and then he said oh, you know what, if conspiracy is not going to be a sufficient crime for people to accept, let's see if the grand jury will indict on a more substantive charge and now the indictment on money laundering?

DeGuerin: No. I think what happened was last week he got a grand jury to indict at the last moment on a crime that doesn't exist. Now that he realized that is he screwed up, he's gone before a second grand jury.

Abrams: Dick, how do you expect to be able to defend two different charges? Are you going to attack both in the same manner, meaning to basically alleges, it sounds like you're doing now, that this is politic will political.

DeGuerin: No, what I said to you, Dan is the first charge just won't hold water. It is not a crime and it's astounding to me that a district attorney whose been in office for 27 years to get a grand jury to return an indictment for something that's not a crime. All he had to do was look at the books a little bit and he'd learn that. And I suppose that -- earlier today, his reaction was, l I'll just go get another indictment for something else.

Abrams: All right. Well, Dick DeGuerin, thank you for coming on the program, talking about this as it's happening. We'll see if we can get more information on this. Let me publicly invite district attorney Ronnie Earle to come to the program. You heard Dick DeGuerin in make some serious allegations. You are invited to come on the program and respond. Come on tomorrow whatever the case may be. We want to make sure we're being fair about this.

Posted by Kevin Whited @ 10/03/05 11:03 PM | Print |

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