Earle still scrambling for evidence in DeLay case

AP via Houston Chronicle:

A Texas prosecutor asked today for all e-mail sent and received in 2002 by three indicted associates of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay as part of an investigation into an alleged campaign finance scheme.

The latest subpoenas issued by District Attorney Ronnie Earle request correspondence to and from e-mail addresses belonging to John Colyandro, Jim Ellis and Warren RoBold. He did not ask DeLay to provide e-mails.

...

The prosecutor also repeated a request for telephone records from DeLay's daughter, Danielle DeLay Ferro, a political consultant who did work for DeLay's Texas committee.

"It's interesting that they're trying to find evidence at this late date," said Ellis' attorney J.D. Pauerstein, who on Thursday filed motions to get the charges against Ellis dismissed.

Earle, who conducts the grand jury, did not comment on the latest subpoenas.

DeLay's legal team, meanwhile, sought subpoenas for three Texas officials — state Democratic party chair Charles Soechting; David Reisman, executive director of the Texas Ethics Commission; and Chris Elliott, chairman of the Travis County Democratic Party in Austin.

The officials may be asked to testify at a hearing Tuesday to decide whether state District Judge Bob Perkins should continue to preside over DeLay's case. DeLay wants the judge removed because of contributions Perkins has made to the Democratic candidates and causes.

DeLay's request for a speedy trial is apparently catching Earle unprepared. His actions suggest that he thought he could get a plea deal with one of the defendents and not have to do the hard work of putting together a case before bringing an indictment. The subpoenas are so scatter shot they look like a fishing expedition at this point instead of an attempt to tie down evidence already in their files.

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