House majority leader's position in jeopardy.
By Laylan Copelin

AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Travis County grand jury today indicted U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on one count of criminal conspiracy, jeopardizing the Sugar Land Republican's leadership role as the second most powerful Texan in Washington, D.C.

The charge, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years incarceration, stems from his role with his political committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, a now-defunct organization that already had been indicted on charges of illegally using corporate money during the 2002 legislative elections.

The grand jury, however, took no action against Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, Texas Association of Business President Bill Hammond or state Reps. Dianne Delisi and Beverly Woolley, both of whom sit on the political committee's board, for their roles in the election.

The grand jury's term ended today.

Delay's defense team will hold a press conference in Austin later this afternoon. The team includes defense attorneys Bill White and Steve Brittain of Austin and Dick DeGuerin of Houston.

State law bans corporate money being spent in connection with political campaigns and Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, has spent almost three years investigating whether Republican groups and their business allies violated that ban. The groups helped elect a Republican majority to the state Legislature which, in turn, drew new Congressional districts that benefited Republican candidates.

DeLay and his associates insisted the corporate money was legally spent on committee overhead or issue advertising and not campaign-related activity.

An indictment does not force DeLay to resign as a member of Congress, but the GOP's rules demand that he resign his post as majority leader as he fights the charges. Congressional Republicans earlier tried to drop that requirement, citing Earle's investigation as a political vendetta, but they ultimately maintained the rule after withering criticism.

Over the past year, Travis County grand jurors have indicted three DeLay associates — John Colyandro, Jim Ellis and Warren Robold — as well as eight corporate donors, the Texas Association of Business and DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority. Colyandro and Ellis were re-indicted this morning as part of the conspiracy indictment.

DeLay had appeared to escape criminal scrutiny as early as last year when Travis County prosecutors concluded they did not have the jurisdiction to pursue election code violations against him. Under the law, only DeLay's local district attorney, a Republican, had jurisdiction, and he expressed no interest in the case.

But a conspiracy charge falls under the criminal code, not the election statute that bans corporate money from being spent on a campaign. And Earle has the jurisdiction to prosecute DeLay for conspiring with others to circumvent state law.

In recent days, the broad-based investigation has focused on one particular transaction during the 2002 campaign.


Continued:


 http://www.livejournal.com/users/mparent7777/3183149.html



CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWSWIRE - September 28th, 2005
 http://www.livejournal.com/users/mparent7777/2005/09/28/



MARC PARENT

CRIMES AND CORRUPTIONS OF THE NEW WORLD ORDER NEWS

 http://www.livejournal.com/users/mparent7777