One Hammer Short Of A Toolbox

The case against Tom DeLay hinges on whether he knew about and condoned a well-documented conspiracy to circumvent election laws. Earle’s Grand Jury made it clear when they issued indictments that the case against DeLay was practically bombproof. Somebody must have told the Grand Jury about DeLay’s involvement, but who?

As it turns out, Tom DeLay.

DeLay mugshot

***

Title changed because it sounds better.






68 replies
  1. 1
    Mike S says:

    At that session, DeLay acknowledged that in 2002 he was informed about and expressed his support for transfers of $190,000 in mostly corporate funds from his Texas political action committee to an arm of the Republican National Committee in Washington and then back to Texas, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named.

    Those transfers are at the heart of the prosecutor’s investigation of the alleged use of corporate funds in the 2002 Texas elections, in violation of state law. In the prosecutor’s view, DeLay’s admission put him in the middle of a conspiracy not only to violate that law but also to launder money.

    As disclosed by sources involved with the case, the new details present a more complete picture of the sequence of events leading to the indictment of DeLay at the end of September. They reveal the unusual lengths to which DeLay and his lawyers were willing to go to avoid charges that would force him to leave his powerful post — and how it was DeLay’s own words that ultimately got him in trouble with the prosecutor.

    If true it shows that he is even dumber than I thought.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    KC says:

    Hard to believe someone could be so stupid. Say, have you guys seen what Jeralyn is talking about on her site? Be interesting if the no-writ-of-habeus-corpus thing Republicans seem to be bent on applied to the Hammer.

  4. 4
    Jorge says:

    My guess it this is why his entire defense rests on the fact that when the dealings occurred his actions weren’t yet a crime. Of course, most everything I’ve read about the law explains that it was always a crime and the 2003 statute just spelled it out specifically.

  5. 5
    neil says:

    I can’t believe that Ronnie Earle would so blatantly violate Tom DeLay’s 5th amendment rights. I guess for Democrats, not all amendments were created equal.

  6. 6
    Mike S says:

    I can’t believe that Ronnie Earle would so blatantly violate Tom DeLay’s 5th amendment rights. I guess for Democrats, not all amendments were created equal.

    Either that’s DougJ or someone has no concept of the 5th.

  7. 7
    yet another jeff says:

    Heh…ah, if we only had an amendment that gave us protection AFTER we have incriminated ourselves.

  8. 8

    Yes, DeLay is guilty and Ronnie Earle is no one’s fool.

  9. 9
    Lines says:

    But Ronnie Earle is just on a partisan witch hunt! Delay is golden! He never ate that baby!

  10. 10
    Steve S says:

    This photo is really quite disturbing.

    Why is Tom DeLay so happy in this picture? It’s almost as if he doesn’t take law enforcement seriously.

  11. 11
    Homer Simpson says:

    DOOOHHHH

  12. 12
    Derek Flint says:

    Why is Tom DeLay so happy in this picture? It’s almost as if he doesn’t take law enforcement seriously.

    Can you say sociopath?
    I knew you could…

  13. 13
    Lines says:

    Insectopath!

    Buggiopath?

    Bastard?

  14. 14
    Gratefulcub says:

    The article does go on to say that Earle’s case is pretty weak. He has little except for DeLay’s semi-admission.

    All I am saying is, don’t get too far out in front on this one. I’ve said too much alreay.

  15. 15
    DougJ says:

    Why are all of you America haters trying to criminalize conservative politics? When you compare what DeLay did to what went on in Tammany Hall or under Tsar Nicholas II or Nero, it just looks like a big frat prank.

  16. 16
    Lines says:

    Earle’s Grand Jury made it clear when they issued indictments that the case against DeLay was practically bombproof.

    Revise that to:

    Earle’s Grand Jury made it clear when they issued indictments that the case against DeLay was practically bug-bombproof.

  17. 17
    Horshu says:

    Judging by the look on Tom’s face, he knows of some deep, dark elf magic that he’s going to unleash to make eeeverything go away.

  18. 18
    TallDave says:

    The whole case is a bad joke. Everything DeLay did was vetted by election-law lawyers.

    Earle’s son is running for office. Think that’s a coincidence?

    Travis County is where the fake Bush Guard memos came from. This case isn’t any better.

  19. 19
    Mike S says:

    Earle’s son is running for office. Think that’s a coincidence?

    Oh my. Davey is great for comic relief, if nothing else.

  20. 20
    TM Lutas says:

    That picture has to be the happiest mug shot I’ve ever seen. Of course, DeLay knew that it’d be used against him for the rest of his adult life (probably accompanying his obituary at the NY Times) so he just decided to mess with his political enemies and smile, smile, smile.

    If DeLay had lied, they’d have him on perjury. Didn’t Scooter Libby prove the folly of not telling the truth? I’m sorry but this story is just lame.

    As for this sort of contribution being illegal even prior to the 2003 law, could anybody provide a citation of what law said contributions would have violated as well as give any sort of reason why a prosecutor wouldn’t indict under the prior law instead of the law that hadn’t taken effect yet? Talk about dumb! Talk about incompetent! If a bar owner provided a shot of wood alcohol and poisons a man a day before Prohibition takes effect, you wouldn’t charge him under Prohibition, would you? It’s the same logic in this case.

  21. 21
    yet another jeff says:

    No, that was Abilene…which is in Taylor County…about 2 hours west of Ft. Worth. Pretty far from Travis County…

  22. 22
    TallDave says:

    Mike S,

    So you think it is a coincidence? ROTLFLMAO!!

    Comic relief, indeed.

  23. 23
    TallDave says:

    Dan Rather is featured speaker a fund raiser for Travis County Democrats, raising $20,000
    Dan Rather did the fund raiser for his friend, current Austin mayor, Will Wynn
    Dan Rather lives in Travis County part time
    Dan Rather’s daughter, who lives in Austin, Robin, is co-sponsor of the fund raiser
    Ben Barnes, who lives in Austin, is a co-sponsor of the fund raiser
    Dan Rather’s fundraiser, so-sponsored by Robin Rather and Ben Barnes, is at Will Wynn’s house
    Ben Barnes is on the Finance Committee of Travis County Democrats
    Ben Barnes and Will Wynn serve on a number of the same Austin boards
    Robin Rather is said to be considering a run for mayor of Travis County seat, Austin
    Ben Barnes is a former Lt. Governor of Texas who was disgraced in a stock fraud scandal
    Ben Barnes was accused by federal prosecutors of a $500,000 bribe of a lottery official
    Ben Barnes is the #3 individual contributor to John Kerry, over $500,000, through bundling
    Ben Barnes said he got George Bush favorable treatment when he was Lt. Governor, but he wasn’t Lt. Governor when Bush went into the TANG
    Ben Barnes’ daughter Amy says Barnes is lying about helping Bush get into the TANG
    David Van Os, Bill Burkett’s attorney, was chairman of Travis County Democrats
    David Van Os, Bill Burkett’s attorney, says that Burkett did not create the Rathergate memos, though Burkett implies he was part of the effort, since he said on 8/25, that “we” have reassembled Bush’s TANG records

  24. 24
    Lines says:

    Yes, Dave, a prosecutor that knows his case(s) are going to be some of the highest profile in the country is just going to be handing them out willy nilly without the background and without the proof necessary to make the indictments stick, because all attention is good attention, right?

    Dave, you’re one of the densest people I’ve ever seen, this side of a black hole.

  25. 25
    TallDave says:

    Lines,

    Congrats, you just proved Ronnie Earle is a moron.

    Good work.

  26. 26
    DougJ says:

    Tall Dave — that was not one of your better posts. It reads as if you just put down 2 or 3 double lattes or hit the crack pipe.

  27. 27
    Mike S says:

    TallDave Says:

    Dan Rather is featured speaker a fund raiser for Travis County Democrats, raising $20,000
    Dan Rather did the fund raiser for his friend, current Austin mayor, Will Wynn
    Dan Rather lives in Travis County part time

    Earle once rode in a black helicopter, nuff said.

    Stop it Davey, you’re killing me.

  28. 28
    TallDave says:

    DougJ,

    I see your head is stil firmly lodged in your ass.

  29. 29
    DougJ says:

    I mean the post where you list those things, not the one you just wrote, which was fine.

  30. 30
    TallDave says:

    Mike S,

    That’s right, just a coincidence.

    No wonder your party can’t win any elections.

  31. 31
    TallDave says:

    Mike S,

    You’re also apparently not smart enough to tell that post had NOTHING to do with Earle.

    Why am I not surprised.

  32. 32
    DougJ says:

    TD, you know I think you’re basically okay, but today you’re starting sound like one of my creations. Seriously — relax, do some stretches, maybe have a glass of herbal tea.

  33. 33
    Lines says:

    Dave, why did Delay’s lawyers attempt to plea bargain (accepting guilt) for a misdemeanor if Delay did nothing wrong?

    Ooops, so far all he’s managed to do is look more and more guilty.

    As for you, you’re guilty of defending a baby-eater. Good job, it takes a lot to continually ignore and dismiss things, and so far you’ve proven you at least have the intelligence to hit your little fists on a keyboard and produce things that appear to be sentences.

  34. 34
    TallDave says:

    DougJ,

    Not the least bit interested in whether you think I’m OK.

    Seriously, pull your head out of your ass.

  35. 35
    Steve says:

    I think TallDave borrowed Stephen Colbert’s argument as to why Alito will not be confirmed. If you missed it, I am regrettably unable to provide a paraphrase.

    Anyway, a little lesson in criminal procedure – if there is a fundamental legal defect in the indictment, such as the law not being in effect yet at the time the alleged crime occurred, DeLay will easily be able to get the case dismissed at a very early pre-trial stage. So if you truly believe in these defense theories that you read about somewhere, just wait for the dismissal. It won’t be long.

  36. 36
    Robert Chavez says:

    I’m pretty sure you can’t take the 5th in front of a grand jury.

  37. 37
    TallDave says:

    Lines,

    Are you really that stupid? Like there’s no bad publicity involved in being indicted regardless of whether the charges have merit? Sheesh, think.

  38. 38
    Mike S says:

    Davey, I’m dying here. Your rantings wouldn’t even pass muster at freeperville.

  39. 39
    TallDave says:

    Mike S,

    Yet you can’t argue any of them. How sad it must be to be you.

  40. 40
    John S. says:

    Oh my! It’s a C-O-N spiracy…

    And here I’ve been led to believe that only lefties wear the tinfoil hats.

  41. 41
    Mike S says:

    I have to go, but thanks for the laughs Davey. Nothing pleases me more than seeing Republican Stupidity in action.

    John may have to change the name of the tag to “TellDave.”

  42. 42
    TallDave says:

    John S.,

    Conspiracy is what Delay’s being charge with, so check your own head for tinfoil.

    This is not unusual for Texas politics. Earle makes things tough for Delay, Dem donors/voters show their appreciation to his son. Quid pro quo. Not a conspiracy, just Dems helping Dems.

    Repubs do it to, and if the situation were reversed you blindly ideological fools would be here insisting the eaxct reverse of what you’re saying now.

  43. 43
    TallDave says:

    Mike S,

    Check the mirror as you go to see Democrat Stupidity in action.

  44. 44
    neil says:

    Everything DeLay did was vetted by election-law lawyers.

    And nobody who retains a lawyer ever does anything illegal.

  45. 45
    TallDave says:

    Everything DeLay did was vetted by election-law lawyers.

    And nobody who retains a lawyer ever does anything illegal.

    The reason the lawyer is there is to explain what’s legal and what’s not. They’re not just some random lawyers on retainer for no reason; their whole job is to make sure nothing they do is illegal.

    OK, I’m done explaining why water is wet. Feel free to continue making fools of yourselves in my absence.

  46. 46
    yet another jeff says:

    Well, I guess one of those people faxed the memos to Rather from Abilene. I wonder who?

    Interesting you’d bring up Barnes and the Texas Lottery. Some say that he was kept on by the lottery by Harriet Miers to maintain silence about TANG and Bush.

    http://www.captainsquartersblo.....005644.php

  47. 47
    JWeidner says:

    Check the mirror as you go to see Democrat Stupidity in action.

    Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where George’s whole goal is to get a Yankees exec. to feed him a line about eating shrimp (“Hey George, the ocean called, they’re running out of shrimp!”). To which George planned to reply “Oh Yeah! Well the jerk store called and they’re running out of YOU!”
    LOL. It was just on TBS last night. Classic.

  48. 48
    J. Michael Neal says:

    The reason the lawyer is there is to explain what’s legal and what’s not. They’re not just some random lawyers on retainer for no reason; their whole job is to make sure nothing they do is illegal.

    That’s true. However, if your lawyers are wrong, saying that you only followed their advice is not a defense. You are still culpable for the illegal act.

  49. 49
    DougJ says:

    Dan Rather’s fundraiser, so-sponsored by Robin Rather and Ben Barnes, is at Will Wynn’s house

    Ben Barnes and Will Wynn serve on a number of the same Austin boards

    Will Wynn was in “My Cousin Vinny” with Joe Pesci.

    Joe Pesci was in “JFK” with Kevin Bacon.

    So Dan Rather is 4 degrees from Kevin Bacon.

  50. 50
    Horshu says:

    You *can* plead the 5th in a grand jury. The 5th establishes the GJ system, but it doesn’t say you have to implicate yourself; if that were the case, pleading the 5th at trial could be sidestepped by introducing compelled, under-oath testimony made before the grand jury. That being said, I’m not exactly sure if DeLay’s statements to Earle were officially GJ testimony or not. If a stenographer’s there, it’s still on record, but in terms of pleading the 5th, he may not have even had grounds to do so, in which case he could have just said nothing, as you do have a right to remain silence until you give testimony.

    From the Wiki on the 5th:
    To “plead the Fifth” or to “take the Fifth” is to refuse to answer a question because the response could form incriminating evidence. Fifth Amendment protections apply wherever and whenever an individual is compelled to testify, including in settings such as grand jury or congressional hearings

  51. 51
    John S. says:

    Wow. Dave has gone completely unhinged…

    Conspiracy is what Delay’s being charge with, so check your own head for tinfoil.

    I was clearly referring to your David Horowitz style web of connections meant to show that somehow, Delay is the victim of some vast liberal conspiracy “Dems helping Dems” meant to destroy him. I can understand your confusion since you probably aren’t getting very good reception through all that tinfoil you’re wearing.

    Repubs do it to, and if the situation were reversed you blindly ideological fools would be here insisting the eaxct reverse of what you’re saying now.

    Every work in a movie theater as a projectionist? You seem to be very good at it. Anyway, I realize that because YOU are blindly partisan and willing to defend Delay’s antics regardless of his history that you project that onto everyone else, but that is simply not the case.

    If there were a Democrat currently in office with such a long record of ethics violations and political heavy-handedness with lobbyists as Tom Delay, I would be the last person to go to bat for him. That (and our political leanings) is what makes us different.

  52. 52
    Lines says:

    You know, in my little world, when lawyers attempt to plea bargain a charge from a felony to a misdemeanor there is usually a guilty plea in there somewhere.

    Again: It sounds like Delay and his lawyers are admitting to guilt in the conspiracy to launder campaign money, but they only want a misdemeanor charge so Delay can regain his leadership position.

    So, since TallDave is happily gone now, can someone else explain his position?

  53. 53
    yet another jeff says:

    So, then it would be stupid for someone to think that it is a violation of the 5th amendment for something someone said being held against them in a court of law.

    Lawmakers should know the law.

  54. 54
    JWeidner says:

    Does the 5th even really apply? I mean, DeLay would have had the option to take the 5th when he was asked about his activities. But if he up and answered the question and said “I did this.” while in front of the GJ, doesn’t that pretty much invalidate his option to take the 5th?

    I could be wrong (I’m no lawyer), but the 5th doesn’t guarantee that you can never provide damaging testimony against yourself, just that you can’t be forced to provide such testimony. If you give the testimony freely…so long 5th…

  55. 55
    HH says:

    Equal timeSo when the er, “slam dunk” case, which needed multiple indictments when the first ones didn’t take, falls flat, will the likes of Tim F do a mea culpa?

  56. 56
    John S. says:

    HH-

    Great link there. I find it interesting that the argument there regarding the WaPo’s misuse of sources hinges on the following line:

    The anonymous sources cited are almost certainly leakers from Ronnie Earle’s office, and their goal was to make their case against DeLay seem stronger.

    Almost certainly! That’s good enough for me.

  57. 57
    Stormy70 says:

    Ronnie Earl has a history of falling on his face. See Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

  58. 58
    Steve says:

    Um, people confess all the time, without there being a 5th Amendment problem. This should not be a difficult legal proposition to analyze.

  59. 59
    DougJ says:

    How long until we’re hearing that Tom DeLay’s ethics problem is in its last throes and that the prosecutors investigating him are just a few dead-enders?

  60. 60
    yet another jeff says:

    How long? Wasn’t that the tactic from the beginning? I mean, it’s obvious that Ronnie Earle hates Tom DeLay for his freedom.

  61. 61
    DougJ says:

    And I guess the DOJ hates him too. That’s why they’re investigating his buddy Jack Abramoff. I do wonder sometimes: why did the Bush administration staff the Department of Justice with America-haters?

  62. 62
    JWeidner says:

    Stormy

    Ronnie Earl has a history of falling on his face. See Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

    Is one other case a “history”? I’m not familiar with his other cases, but how many has he successfully prosecuted, and how many has he “fallen on his face”?

    I mean, if I made a mistake at work, but then performed flawlessly before and/or after that, I don’t think people would walk around saying I have a history of making mistakes (but then again, maybe they would…)

  63. 63
    John S. says:

    In Stormy’s world, going 13/15 makes for a ‘history’ of failure (I only saw two cases including Hutchinson’s that resulted in acquittal).

    If that’s failure, I don’t want to be a success.

  64. 64
    ppGaz says:

    How nice, a thread for Stormy and TallDave to hang out in and pretend to each other that their shitstain of a government isn’t falling down around their ears.

  65. 65
    Mike S says:

    (I only saw two cases including Hutchinson’s that resulted in acquittal).

    Not aquittal, he dropped hers when a judge refused to allow some of his evidence in.

    Maybe we should start a project like Davey’s to find the degrees of seperation between that judge and Kay Baily.

  66. 66
    John S. says:

    Not aquittal, he dropped hers when a judge refused to allow some of his evidence in.

    Look at the language here.

    U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, 1994: Acquitted of official misconduct and records tampering after Earle dropped the case during the trial.

    Attorney General Jim Mattox, Democrat, 1985: Acquitted on felony bribery charges. Won re-election.

    Regardless, my original point stands.

  67. 67
    Pelikan says:

    I will, if I may, shed some light on why TallDave seems to be shooting bolts of pure crazy from his fingertips..

    Haven’t you ever noticed that his main argument, the one he goes to whenever someone bites back, is some version of “You don’t understand (blank), not like us true Americans, and that’s why you people NEVER WIN ELECTIONS.” Now some of you may recall that on Tuesday, Democrats won elections, therefore the spine of TallDave’s argument has gone “poof,” ( or “bamf!” if you prefer.)

    Seems like believing that Democrats would never again win another election was a silly thing, but hey, peoples is peoples.

    -Pelikan

  68. 68
    Greg D says:

    You all are real funny. Too bad you don’t know shit about the law.

    What Delay did was entirely accepted practice in Texas at the time he did it. Read: the DNC was doing the exact same thing at the same time.

    If Ronnie Earle had a real case, he wouldn’t have behaved the way he did (got one Grand Jury to issue one count right as the grand jury ended. Indictment gets dumped less than two weeks later, when Delay’s lawyers point out that Earle was accusing Delay of violating a law that hadn’t been passed when the actions took place. So Earle goes to a brand new grand jury, and gets them to pass out an indictment that he couldn’t get the first grand jury to issue (IOW, was so weak that the first grand jury refused to go along).

    I’m going to have fun coming back here and laughing at all of you when Delay gets acquitted on this one.

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