Ronnie Earle and the new charges against DeLay

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Via the NYTimes:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 – A grand jury in Texas issued a second indictment on Monday against Representative Tom DeLay, accusing the Texas Republican and two aides of money laundering in a $190,000 transaction that prosecutors have described as a violation of the state’s ban on the use of corporate money in local election campaigns.

The indictment was announced without warning on Monday in Austin, the state capital, after lawyers for Mr. DeLay went to court earlier in the day to ask that the original conspiracy indictment be dismissed on technical grounds. Mr. DeLay was forced to step down temporarily as House majority leader as a result of that indictment last week.

The interesting part of the article:

Without an explanation from the prosecutors, local criminal law specialists seemed perplexed by Mr. Earle’s actions, saying they may reflect an effort by the prosecutor to ensure that some charge sticks to Mr. DeLay even if the conspiracy indictment is dimissed.

George E. Dix, a law professor at the University of Texas and a specialist in criminal procedures, speculated that prosecutors "saw a potential problem" with the conspiracy counts "and didn’t want to hassle over it, so they went with a legal theory on money laundering that wouldn’t present the same problems." He said if that was the case, it could be embarrassing to Mr. Earle because "it is a little awkward to have to change a theory before your horse is out of the gate."

The essential allegations are identical in the new and old indictment – that Mr. DeLay and his aides transferred $190,000 in corporate donations from a Texas political action committee to the Republican National Committee in September 2002, and that it was returned to individual Republican candidates for the Texas state house. A century-old ban in Texas prohibits the use of corporate money in the campaigns of state candidates.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is little more than a political witch hunt. The more I read about this, the more I feel that once legal  proceedings for these charges run their course, DeLay will be vindicated.   I know DeLay has been cited for ethics violation in the House in the past, but violating an ethics code in the House and violating the law aren’t the same thing.

Gary at Boxer Watch examines the info from NYTimes piece thoroughly and has come to this conclusion regarding Earle’s actions:  "This is comical."

John at Powerline:

The reprehensible Ronnie Earle admitted in a press conference on September 28 that he wasn’t able to get a "money laundering" indictment out of the grand jury that had been sitting in this matter for goodness knows how many months. Now, in a matter of hours, he has gotten a brand new grand jury to return such an indictment–ex parte, with the grand jury hearing from no one but Earle and, presumably, a witness or two. It might be possible to imagine a more partisan, corrupt prosecutor than Ronnie Earle, but that’s a thought experiment I’d rather not conduct.

[…]

Will Ronnie Earle go on the radio to try to defend his abuse of power? Don’t hold your breath. It is a scandal that he still holds a position of responsibility in Travis County. I know that ethics complaints, etc., have been filed against Earle for his misconduct, and an effort is underway to bar him from the practice of law. But the real solution is for the electorate to turn him out of office. The man is a disgrace to honest lawyers everywhere.

Yep.

Prior Toldjah So posts:

Media digs and Miers conservative credentials start to stand out

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Ladies and gents, after a day where many conservatives (including me) wondered just what the heck he was doing, methinks the President may have very well delivered on giving us a conservative nominee – if the stories coming out about her are any indication.  Here are some of the latest headlines and conservative commentary on Miers:

Miers said to be on `extreme end’ of pro-life movement

Miers on gay ‘rights’

Via Drudge, who has posted a scoop to an upcoming NYTimes piece at his site: Miers Found Christ, Turned Republican

ST reader and fellow blogger Seth posts some background on Ms. Miers that should be of interest to those of us who have serious questions on her nomination.

Thomas Lifson, who is the editor and publisher of The American Thinker, says "Don’t misunderestimate Miers".

Polipundit: "I’ve had a day to reflect on the Miers nomination, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is an exceedingly good decision. Let’s line up the objections and knock ‘em down." Read the whole thing.

Anchoress has a great post up with some good advice for conservatives on the Miers nomination and also points out that Miers formerly being a Democrat should not be held against her (Anchoress, like me, used to be a liberal too).

Patrick Ruffini says: Chill! And starts a "Coalition of the Chillin’: SCOTUS Division" :)

Michelle Malkin links here and here to continued skepticism from conservatives on Miers nomination.

It makes sense that perhaps the President wanted to throw off liberals who were expecting an obvious conservative like Janice Rogers Brown because she has a clear record that Senate Dems and moderate Republicans would thoroughly dog.  What I don’t think he – nor many others in the WH banked on – is the high degree of outrage that came from conservative voices yesterday and today over the nomination.  It seems that the WH went on the "they should trust me" theme, meaning that those loyal to the President (like conservatives who have stood by him faithfully through the highs and lows of the administration) should have trusted his instincts in picking who he thought was the right choice.  But as David Frum said yesterday:

Nor is it safe for the president’s conservative supporters to defer to the president’s judgment and say, "Well, he must know best." The record shows I fear that the president’s judgment has always been at its worst on personnel matters.

I agree.

But in the light of day, and with the debates still raging within conservative circles about the nomination of Harriet Miers, after what I’ve read about her I’m starting to feel a little bit better about her nomination.   That’s not to say that I no longer have concerns and questions – I do, but as the facts start to come out, the more and more conservative she appears to be.

(Cross-posted at Blogs For Bush)

Related Toldjah So posts:

Audio recording advice-update

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Thanks for the suggestions to those who posted them here or emailed me with ideas.  I think I’ve got all the bases covered in terms of getting a recording of the show so at some point in the near future after the interview I should be able to post an audio link here for anyone interested in listening.

Oh, and by the way – unfortunately I do not sound like Kathleen Turner from the movie "Heat" – LOL.  So ya’ll don’t be expecting anything more than a slight southern feminine drawl next Tuesday, ok? emoticon

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