Friday, October 07, 2005

Looks Like A Duck To Me

The case against Tom DeLay is not insignificant and one sees why an impartial jury, despite the motivations of a prosecutor, which may or may not be political in nature, would issue the indictment.

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) met for at least 30 minutes with the top fundraiser of his Texas political action committee on Oct. 2, 2002, the same day that the Republican National Committee in Washington set in motion a series of financial transactions at the heart of the money-laundering and conspiracy case against DeLay.

During the meeting at his Capitol office, DeLay conferred with James W. Ellis, the head of his principal fundraising committee in Washington and his chief fundraiser in Texas. Ellis had earlier given the Republican National Committee a check for $190,000 drawn mostly from corporate contributions. The same day as the meeting, the RNC ordered $190,000 worth of checks sent to seven Republican legislative candidates in Texas.

Turns out DeLay's chief fundraiser, also indicted last week (umm, and this week), allegedly had a more direct role:

In the indictment, the grand jury accused DeLay, Ellis and John Colyandro -- then the director of Texans for a Republican Majority, an ARMPAC offshoot -- of agreeing with the Republican National Committee to conduct the offense of money laundering and set forth a sequence of key events that began on Sept. 11, 2002. It alleges that Ellis "did request and propose" on that day that an arm of the RNC make the payments to Texas Republicans once it had received the check from Texas.

The next day, according to the indictment, Ellis delivered the check to the Republican National State Elections Committee, an arm of the RNC, and also provided it "with a document that contained the names of several candidates." He also "requested and proposed" how much each candidate should receive, the indictment said.

Doesn't mean that DeLay is going down, of course.

To prove that DeLay participated in money laundering or in a conspiracy to conduct it -- the two allegations in the felony indictment brought against DeLay on Monday morning -- Earle will have to prove two things, according to lawyers who are closely following the case: The transactions involving the $190,000 were illegal, and DeLay played some critical role, by approving them or by helping to carry them out.


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