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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Republican Woes and What do they Mean

The Republicans are hurting. Tom Delay has been indicted (though he claims its all partisan politics), Bill Frist has been subpoenaed in the investigation against him for a stock sale, and Karl Rove is testifying tomorrow to the grand jury for the fourth time in the CIA leak case. Man, top guys in top posts all with legal troubles. How will it all work out? I'll try to construct a scenario in all three cases. It is an educated guess as to what might happen to these guys and what their actions might dictate for them.

In the case of former House Majority Leader Tom Delay, he has been indicted twice on a conspiracy and a more serious money laundering charge. He could possibly spend the rest of his life in jail, although that is very unlikely. Delay's defense has been that the Austin prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, is a partisan fanatic bent on destroying him. So far the public is not buying it. A recent poll shows that a large majority is not buying into Delay's claim. But what if Earle really is fanatic? That does not mean that Delay is innocent because a partisan hack is bringing charges against him for a crime. Delay's team is trying to steer the focus away from the charges and trying to emphasize Earle's political leanings, something made very obvious after they asked the judge in the case to subpoenae Earle and his team, a very unorthodox move. The judge has not ruled on the motion yet. If Delay did commit a crime, it doesn't matter if it is Hillary Clinton trying to prosecute him, he should be held accountable. The trial is some time away so discussing the facts is utterly irresponsible since no one knows them. What does the indictment mean for Delay? It means that Delay will most likely not regain his Majority Leader post since the case will take some time. The longer it takes to resolve the case, the more difficult it becomes for Delay because as a new Majority Leader takes control of the reins, the more he will fight to maintain the powerful position. Remember that although Delay was the most powerful man in Congress, that doesn't mean he doesn't have a lot of enemies within his own party, people waiting for a chance like this. After all it is politics. But that is not the extent of Delay's problem. He will have a hard time getting reelected in his district, one that he barely won last time around. Now the Democrats are armed with a wealth of weapons to attack Delay and they are feeling emboldened by all his problems. Yes, Delay's political career is skating on thin ice and it may only be a matter time before it is over. We will know soon enough if he survives.

In the case of Senate Majority leader Bill Frist -- now that he has been subpoenaed in the investigation against him-- it puts him in a difficult position because he has to choose what he says very carefully as to not perjure himself. A lot of details are available in this case, as compared to the others which lack details. It is known that Frist was receiving reports on his blind trust, which is a violation, he sold stock at a very mysterious time period (which is the reason for the investigation) , and the Washington Post now has reported that Frist held stock outside his blind trust, which is a conflict of interest with his duties as a United States Senator, another potential violation. When Frist testifies several scenarios can play out: First, he can be completely forthcoming. If he has nothing to hide he is in the clear (at least with the stock sale). If he pleads the fifth, he will face trouble with the stock sale charges and possibly an indictment. If he has committed the offense and decides to lie about it, he will possibly be found out soon enough. At this point, he would face charges of insider trading and perjury charges. If he is forthcoming about the sale and has committed the offense, he will most likely be found guilty of insider trading and possibly face only a large fine, and maybe some probation, I doubt that any jail time would be handed down. What the subpoenae does is force Frist's hand to commit to a course, whether that be truth, lie, or silence. It puts his back against the wall.

Finally, in the case of Karl Rove, being called back to testify for a fourth time, this time around being warned that he is not immune from prosecution, puts him under the gun. If anything he says conflicts with previous statements he made or with other testimony, he will most likely face indictment. He is most definitely involved in the CIA leak case, it is just a matter of determining how deep. If he pleads the fifth, it will mean that his previous testimony will most likely have been compromised and could lead to a charge of perjury. By pleading the fifth, he could protect himself somewhat from that perjury charge (if he did commit perjury), but face further investigation and still face indictment on the CIA leak case . If he speaks truthfully and everything complies with previous testimony, it would be up to the prosecutor to determine if Rove would be charged with leaking the name. If Rove blatantly lies, then if he is discovered he will face not only charges for the leak, but also for perjury. If this one plays out I believe Rove would most definitely serve time in jail. This case has been so secretive that it is difficult to say what is going to happen, but Rove being called back to testify a rare fourth time is definitely an ominous sign for Bush's Brain.

DeLay's Lawyers Subpoena His Prosecutor
DeLay Appeals to Court of Public Opinion
Republican Senate leader subpoenaed in possible insider trading probe
Frist Accumulated Stock Outside Trusts
Legal Experts: Rove's New Testimony Risky
Top Bush aide to testify again in CIA leak probe

6 Comments:

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