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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Why Criminal Conspiracy for Tom Delay?

A few comments on Rep. Tom Delay's indictment. Mr. Delay has often blamed partisanship for all his woes. He says, and often I might add, that this is a political witchhunt. He claims to be the victim of a vast left wing conspiracy bent on destroying him. Funny that he should be the one to say so after he was the one that led the charge against Bill Clinton in the impeachment proceedings in 1998, OVER ORAL SEX, a movement that Hillary Clinton called, ironically, a vast right wing conspiracy. Can he really be that surprised that there is bad blood out there?

The prosecutor that led the charge against Delay, Ronnie Earle, is being called by Delay a partisan fanatic, a rogue prosecutor. But he fails to mention that Earle has prosecuted three times as many Democrats as Republicans, and has traditionally gone after those who are in power, Democrat or Republican, it just so happens that Republicans have been in power in the House of Representatives for 11 years. Delay also doesn't mention the fact that Earle did not indict him, a grand jury composed of regular citizens indicted him. Surely they are not all partisan fanatics like Mr. Earle supposedly is. I mean, would they indict someone just for the fun of it? No, they wouldn't. That means that these regular folks saw something in the evidence that pointed to a possible involvement on Mr. Delay's part.

Addressing the partisan aspect of Delay's indictment, do I think it is a partisan witchhunt? I do not think it is a witchhunt. Partisan? Possibly, but not from Mr. Earle's side of it. I think that Democrats in Washington are the ones really hungry for blood. It is just sad that they have to be delivered by a prosecutor in Austin, Texas because they are so pathetic in getting results themselves. Yes, I do think there are politics involved, but let me ask you: should someone be allowed to break the law (I'm not saying Delay has or not, that will come out in the trial) and get away with it because it is the opposing party that wants to hold him accountable? If Delay did break the law, should he be let off because it is the Democrats that want him to hang?

Finally I'll talk about the charge. Criminal conspiracy. A felony. One count. Punishable by up to 2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was indicted with two other associates who were previously indicted, but in that indictment Delay was spared. Why was it criminal conspiracy, which alledges limited or indirect involvement or knowledge as opposed to direct commission of a crime? Well, we do not know what the evidence is, so it would be irresponsible to speculate as to whether Mr. Delay committed the crime or not. But Mr. Earle did not accuse Mr. Delay of the original charges of violating state electoral law and money laundering, which three of his associates were accused, and then indicted of. He did not even try to get him indicted. You must be thinking: Well, if he didn't try to indict him, then he must not have any evidence. Let me correct your assumption. Evidence against Delay, whether it exists or not, is not the issue here. The issue is that Mr. Earle is the prosecutor for Travis county, in Austin, Texas. Under Texas state law, Mr. Earle cannot prosecute Mr. Delay, who resides in Fort Bend county, because these charges fall under the state electoral code. Earle has no jurisdiction over the matter. Only the prosecutor in the Mr. Delay's Fort Bend county can bring those charges against him, and that prosecutor is Republican. On the other hand, criminal conspiracy charges fall under the state's criminal code, and those charges can be brought by any prosecutor in the state. Hence, Mr. Earle charged Mr. Delay with a criminal conspiracy count and when it was presented to the grand jury, Tom Delay, the hammer, was promptly indicted. But, like I said earlier, no one knows what the evidence is or isn't, so at this point it is useless to speculate as to what the outcome of the matter will be. For that we will have to wait for the trial, and it will be an explosive one.

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