DeLay indictment

It appears that the indictment alleges that the political action committee set up to help get Republicans elected in Texas legislative races raised corporate fund. That is not illegal under Texas law. It can use the corporate funds for administrative purposes, which it did. These corporate funds were then donated to the Republican National Committee for use in its administrative expenses. The Republican National Committe also had hard money that it had raised seperately. That hard money was donated to some candidates for the Texas legislature. Tom DeLay says that he was not aware of the transaction until after it occurred. He also says that the practice is common for both Republicans and Democrats and that it is not a violation of the law. DeLay further says that a grand jury in Austin had no jurisdiction over his conduct and the matter should have been sent to the District Attorney in Harris County to determine if prosecution was warranted.

One of the weaknesses of this case is that DeLay never had possession or control of the funds, nor did he receive any financial benefit from the transaction. The DA's argument is that he received a political benefit because some of the legislators supported by the RNC donation were elected and Texas was able to change its apportionment which had unfairly favored Democrats in the past.

DeLay's lead attorney is Dick DeGuerin, who used to be associated with Percy Foreman, one of the most famous defense attorneys in Texas history. DeGuerin also represented Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson when Earle brought a bogus case against her shortly after her first election to the Senate.

The DA's two problems are convincing a jury that DeLay is guilty of "something" and convincing a court that that "something" is a violation of the law.


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