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December 05, 2005

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clarice

It's not that I don't think you're great, Tom, but you forgot the most important thing..What does TradeSports think?

Gary Maxwell

None of those articles got the story correct. First charges dismissed with predjudice. 2nd set of money laundering charges subject to a hearing on the facts of a motion to dismiss for "prosecutorial misconduct".

DeLay has also invoked his constitutional right to a speedy trial so this aint dragging on for months. It will be decided, if not in December then January or he walks for a lack of his rights being protected ( I would speculate the Texas Supreme Court of 9 Republicans would not look kindly on a non speedy "speedy trial.)

Grand jury testimony if any, likely to be presented in open court. A rare look for the public at how a grand jury works. Fascinating, perhaps in the same manner as a train wreck is fascinating, but fascinating it is nevertheless.

clarice

Let's put it this way, if I had a yen for his job, I'd not be ordering the curtains just yet..

Beto Ochoa

The Judge had to throw out this charge for nothing simpler than habeas corpus.
No law . No law broken.
The rest may be a quid pro quo for the final nail in Mr. Earles coffin.
Mr. Earles Coffin.
A PBS Kids Series?
Don't think I'm a Republican apologist. I believe Mr. Delay and every other politician has taken a bribe and is as crooked as a snake.
But don't shoot your wad on a pale horse, get em' on something solid.
PS
Democrats;
Your own are selling you out to the highest international bidders as we speak.
Just like a pile of buttons from a Chinese Prison Factory.

kim

Clinton pre-empted Dole with Chinese money.
===========================================

Tollhouse

It's too bad this didn't turn into a Supreme Court case affirming freedom of speech.

clarice

Not great odds for Earle Under Par

Tulsan

The Democrats are probably hoping for a public trial with lots of juicy evidence, acquittal on a technicality, and the return of DeLay to his position as House Majority Leader. Then they will have him to kick around in next year's mid-terms.

Truzenzuzex

I wonder what is going to happen if, sometime in January, the judge holds and evidentiary hearing and decides Earle's case is full of prunes. He quashes the indictment, but by then its too late and DeLay is no longer majority leader. The Republicans have moved on.

But wait! Will DeLay sit still under those circumstances and "play ball"? Methinks not. Even though quashed indictments don't exactly equal exoneration, DeLay is going to look far more sympathetic than he has in years. And given the ineffective leadership of the Republicans in the House since his resignation, one wonders what kind of conflagration such a scenario could create.

Could be lots of fun, fun, fun for political junkies early next year.

danking

"The Democrats are probably hoping for a public trial with lots of juicy evidence, acquittal on a technicality..."

Do you think it's even going to get as far as that?

Earle has to get the money laundering charges past "a hearing on the facts of a motion to dismiss for "prosecutorial misconduct"" first

(ht: GMaxwell for some real news)

Even I'm interested in hearing how Ronnie Earle convinced a brand new Grand Jury on its first day to bring immediate charges after the first one took how long?. I'm curious as to how a judge will look at the Grand Jury's decision to bring money laundering charges based in part on a "phone poll" of the previous Grand Jury.

If a judge dismisses for "Prosecutorial Misconduct", I bet the MSM will say that Delay got off on a technicality?

LOL!

Truzenzuzex

TM:

MORE: Let's be fair - these charges are more serious because they have not been thrown out. The prospect of starting the New Year with the charges against Tom DeLay dismissed and no indictment of Karl Rove must be sending an early-winter chill down 43rd Street.
I can't help but wonder what the media reaction will be if, by some chance or good lawyering, the remaining charges against DeLay are quashed.

Frankly, I put the odds on DeLay getting all charges dropped at around 25-30% at best, because:

  • Judge Priest is going to want a lot of clear and convincing evidence to conclude Earle abused his position. I'm not sure DeLay's defense team can actually meet that standard. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence pointing to prosecutorial abuse, but the judge is likely to want more than that.
  • Judges are reluctant to throw out indictments that are plausible in the least. They much prefer to have juries decide if they are true.
  • Earle will be able to significantly muddy the water of an evidentiary hearing - something he could not do when his indictment was clearly wrong as a matter of law.
Tollhouse

It's going to take alot of muddying if he can't produce that list.

Mescalero

How long will it take for the MSM moonbats to figure out that Stalinocrat Ronny Earles is no less despicable than Tom Delay?

clarice

Truz, I think this is that rare case where prosecutorial misconduct seems clear.. Moreover, on the legal predicates for the case, the Judge has set forth a series of factual hurdles Earle must overcome to win--and one of those, a list of candidates who received contributions from this fund is something Earle concedes he doesn't have.

MJW

I've always wondered why DeLay's lawyer started questioning the validity of the original charges before the statute of limitation had run. Seems like a case of a day early and a dollar short.

Does anyone have a link to the judges's ruling? I read Delay's brief arguing that the money laundering statute didn't apply to checks at the time of the alleged violation. Its cited Texas caselaw, and seemed fairly convincing (as, admittedly, one-sided presentation often do). I'd like to read the court's analysis.

clarice

I don't know why he didn't wait for the S/L to run--I suppose he didn't think an honest prosecutor could get a proper indictment in the time remaining--and apparently that's right,;) I haven't seen the full opinion online yet though the judge didn't buy the check argument..Remember in passing on a motion to dismiss, the judge has to read all the evidence and arguments in the light most favorable to the party opposing dismissal.

MJW

Thanks Clarice. For anyone who'd like to read DeLay's brief, here's a link. You may notice, I misremembered when I said it cited caselaw regarding the question of whether at the time checks were covered under the money laundering statute. The brief doesn't cite any directly relevant cases. I still think the argument is quite convincing, particularly the section on the House Research Organization's Bill Analysis.

Dwilkers

For those that are interested in this case, here are some resources.

Both political parties have been engaging in 'money swaps' for years down here. In fact, in the same election cycle (2002) for which Earle found Pubs engaging in 'money laundering' the Dems were engaging in the identical behavior, IE dollar for dollar money swaps between national and local parties. See Follow the Money, scroll to page 92, top chart.

If you are interested in the little extortion racket Earle ran on companies that gave to the Republican party you can read about that here, or here, or here.

That Earle doesn't really have a key piece of evidence (the list) he said he had? Read it here.

Earle's grand jury shopping? Here.

Earle attending a fundraiser where he called Delay a "bullY"? Here.

I don't know what constitutes prosecutorial misconduct but if Earle's behavior doesn't qualify it should. His behavior is appalling. And for the record, I am no fan of Delay.

TM

The decision is here.

Truzenzuzex

Clarice:

Truz, I think this is that rare case where prosecutorial misconduct seems clear.. Moreover, on the legal predicates for the case, the Judge has set forth a series of factual hurdles Earle must overcome to win--and one of those, a list of candidates who received contributions from this fund is something Earle concedes he doesn't have.
I am certainly of the opinion, right or wrong, that Earle has abused his discretion and probably engaged in outright unethical conduct that not only prejudices justice, but is worthy of sanctions by the bar.

However, until I read the judge's ruling, I will remain doubtful about the liklihood of dismissal. I'll give you one example of a not-too-encouraging sign from the WaPo article:

In his ruling, Priest explicitly rejected a claim by DeLay's lawyers that no crime occurred because the transactions at issue involved checks and the state law covered only transfers of cash.
Texas state law was ammended in 2005 to include checks as well as cash in the definition of funds. DeGuerin argued the ML charge should be dismissed on the basis that "the legislature is never presumed to do a useless act".

However, Priest granted the motion to dismiss the election law violations on exactly the same grounds:

On the other hand, Priest ruled that the grand jury had no legal foundation to indict DeLay and his associates on separate charges of conspiracy to violate the state election law. Earle's arguments in favor of the indictment "are not persuasive," Priest said, noting that the law was amended to include the offense in 2003 and "the presumption is that the Legislature does not do a useless act."
To me, a layman, these charges were indistinguishable in the fact that the legislature had later proscribed acts which were previously legal. Priest accepted the argument in one case and rejected it in another, even though the substantive facts at hand were very similar.

This cannot be encouraging for DeLay's legal team.

Neo

Reading this stuff is like reading the results of an election, they tell you what they want you to know but never tell you just how many votes went to whom (i.e. what actually happened in the election polling places).

Since I was not in the courtroom, I would hope the news media, that get paid to report, would say what actually happened.

It seems clear that the judge did dismiss the conspiracy count, but beyond that it gets murkily as to what the judge actually did as opposed to what the news media inferred.

Did he judge actually uphold the money laundering count or did the judge merely defer ruling until a hearing into the prosecutorial misconduct was complete ? Note that these are two entirely different actions that most 6th graders could easily understand from simple declarative sentences.

I see from posts here that not only was the conspiracy count dismissed but dismissed with prejudice (i.e. outta here forever). Is is really hard to write that in a sentence ? When ruling, Judge Priest indicated that the "Legislature does not do a useless act" (i.e. it wasn't in the law before so they made an effort to add it) and, given that "ex post facto" enforcement is unconstitutional, it had to be a crime at the time it was done/committed.

Doesn't the AP and Reuters write for 5th graders ? I guess all the 5th graders they had on hand have some sort of attention deficit disorder or were busy on their GameBoys.

maryrose

Will the judge be made aware of the communication between Earle and the democratic party leaders prior the indictment? We all know amisdameanor option was offered until the dem leaders decided that wouldn't be enough to cause Tom Delay to steo down. Republicans never should have changed their rule that a person indicted would have to step down. Dems don't have that rule for trhemselves. The fear at the time was that republicans would look ethics-challenged and corrupt if rule kept in. Guess what dems accuse pubs of today? An exercise in futility.

clarice

You know what I think? We are watching a Texas Two Step.

The only way to deal with the Earle misconduct is to have a hearing on the second part of the indictment. And that requires an evidentiary hearing--one which I do not think will take a long time. I think Earle will fold before that comes or be destroyed, and everyone in that courtroom, including Earle, knows that.(IIRC 2 of DeLay's legal team foremerly worked for Earle and know his M.O.).

TM

The post I wanted to write, emphasizing the different media spins, is here; here is another good post with links to opinions.

clarice

Excellent point, Neo. Read my post above this one. We are watching a Texas Two Step--DeLay will never stand trial on the remaining charges IMO.

Geek, Esq.

He's done as Majority Leader, and maybe in the House as well---his constituents suspect he's guilty.

Legally, this is a half-full v. half-empty ruling.

Politically, it means the show goes on.

And this is just the undercard. For those who think that Tom DeLay is going to survive and return to ruling the roost, I have two words for you:

"Abramoff" and "Scanlon."

DeLay's toast.

clarice

TM, those are both excellent posts--In the second I see Ed Morrissey agrees with me, and since he's so often right, that makes me feel very good indeed:

He says:
[quote]Here’s what the NYT hides until the last paragraph of its coverage, and what the Washington Post doesn’t bother to report at all except as a potential delay to a trial:
Judge Priest also said he had yet to rule on a defense motion of prosecutorial misconduct.
The motion regarding prosecutorial misconduct relates directly to the two remaining charges. If the judge rules that Earle acted unethically or illegally in getting the indictment, the remaining charges will also get dismissed — and it seems a fair bet that it will happen, especially since Priest hasn’t yet dismissed the motion out of hand. Earle went out after the first grand jury refused to indict DeLay on money-laundering charges and tried to get a second grand jury to bring an indictment. When that failed, he formed a third grand jury without ever telling them (or the court) about the second grand jury and got the indictment within four hours of forming the third pool. That bill comprises all the remaining charges against DeLay.[/quote]Texas">http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/005894.php">Texas Two Step.

Truzenzuzex

OK, I read the decision and it seems clear to me that Judge Priest substituted his reasoning for the reasoning of the legislature . Priest concludes (without explicitly saying so) that the legislative change to explicitly include "checks" in the Texas money laundering statute was a useless and unnecessary act because:

  • Even though the ML statute doesn't reference it, the Code Construction Act applies;
  • The Code Construction Act defines the word "including" as a term of expansion;
  • Checks are clearly funds according to common sense;
  • Even though checks aren't enumerated in the applicable ML statute revision, they are included in the meaning (along with who knows what else).
In other words, Judge Priest has found that the applicable version of the ML statute has a "penumbra" that includes checks, in spite of the fact that the legislature revised the statute in 2005 to explicitly include checks and his prior application of "the legislature is never presumed to do a useless act."

Judge Priest then cites 3 state cases and 6 federal cases, although what the federal cases have to do with Texas law is simply beyond me.

Priest also says in a footnote that even if the ML case doesn't survive evidentiary scrutiny, the conspiracy charge will (at least at this point) survive regardless.

This ruling is judicial activism of the worst sort, and I submit that DeLay is in for a trial.

Truzenzuzex

Geek:

DeLay's toast.
Thanks for that utterly meaningless and fact-free post. It warms the cockles of my heart to see that you have limited your analysis in this case to partisan snarks.

kim

Wonderful analysis, T and C. It almost makes me feel like I understand what is going on.
============================================

Gary Maxwell

Hey Geek

What if you are wrong. Delay gets Earle humiliated and the excrement hitting the cooling system is flung all over Democrats.

Then he gets his position back and then is reelected by his constitutients who find the Dem hit job to be beyond contempt.

Do you think he might have a bit of desire to pay back some Dems at that point? Do you think Karl Rove might help him?

Gary Maxwell

I got an interesting private mail from a Texas Attorney. He corrected me on one point. The ultimate court for appeals of criminal matters in Texas is the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. All republicans again although he indicates a prosecutor bias due to most being former prosecutors.

More interesting to me was his thoughts on money laundering as a crime. He indicates that money laudering is the second crime under the law. In other words money has to be "dirty" in order to be laundered. There has to be a first crime. Where is that in this situation?

Perhaps the circling alligators in the pond just decided to take a few laps to build an appetite before their feasting on the stranded Ronnie Earle?

Dwilkers

Can one of you legal eagles tell us how rare it is for an indictment to get tossed like that? I am under the impression that's a pretty rare occurance.

kim

Dems crocs are irritable about the Delay in the fitterung der rauptor. Now they may eat Earley.
================================================

Geek, Esq.

Thanks for that utterly meaningless and fact-free post. It warms the cockles of my heart to see that you have limited your analysis in this case to partisan snarks.

Then why did you only quote the last line of it?

Anyhoo, I assumed (in your case evidently in error) that folks understood that if DeLay isn't cleared of all charges by January, the Republicans hold new leadership elections and he's permanently out as Majority Leader. That's the real significance here, politically.

But, thank you for reminding me that analysis should be accompanied by a basic recitation of facts that most informed observers have known for quite some time.

Have you heard of Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon? Those who only frequent Republican blogs probably haven't.

Geek, Esq.

What if you are wrong. Delay gets Earle humiliated and the excrement hitting the cooling system is flung all over Democrats.

Then he gets his position back and then is reelected by his constitutients who find the Dem hit job to be beyond contempt.

Do you think he might have a bit of desire to pay back some Dems at that point? Do you think Karl Rove might help him?

He would have to be cleared by January, when they hold new elections. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

I actually hope the Ronnie Earle charges do get dropped and the corrupt Republican enterprise re-elect him as capo.

That way, he'll have to resign again when the Abramoff thing explodes in your party's living room.


Gary Maxwell

Dont you love the scary intrigue Geek brings? Hey Geek, does this, unknown to Republicans, scandal have 22 indictments in it? Cuz I was told by your favorite source that they were coming so I have been waiting.

I am sure that those Dem sites have kept you informed that Abramoff seems to have ties to these Republicans that I dont recognize:
Harry Reid
Nancy Pelosi
Byron Dorgan
et al

There is more but why type any more. Abramoff is just like your Congressional travel scandal, it died quickly when it was apparent to the DNC that lots of Dems and all their leaders( using the term quite loosely) were neck deep in the same "scandal".

Interesting how you think if Republican pick new leaders that they cant just pick again in February or June. Permanent you say pehraps it just matters what the definition of permanent is. Plus if Delay has some extra time on his hands he might be able to focus on some Democrats for a little Texas justice.


Geek, Esq.

Do you know who Michael Scanlon is, Gary?

clarice

Gary, unless Earle is certifiable I suspect he'll pitch the case before the misconduct hearing..I think he has little chance of winning that and a great deal to lose. And even if he succeeded in that, the list of things he has to prove to convict is such a high hurdle, he knows he can't prevail ultimately.

Geek, Esq.

By the way, the FBI thus far has been looking only at Republican Congresscritters in connection with the Abramoff crime family.

One Republican Rep. from Ohio--The (Dis)Honorable Mr. Ney, is a dead man walking on Capitol Hill--it's a matter of when he's indicted for taking bribes, not if.

And then there's the Duke.

And Tom DeLay, who's joined at the hip with Abramoff to such an extent that it's a matter of dark humor to try to pass off Abramoff's dealings with the Democrats as being equivalent.

They're not.

Gary Maxwell

Yeah yeah yeah. 22 indictments!!! (some scandal). DeLay is returning, that ought to make you wet yourself.

Geek, Esq.

Gary, have you heard of Michael Scanlon or Bob Ney?

I suggest you google them.

Btw, don't bet on The Hammer leaving the shelf:

DeLay Court Ruling Makes Leadership Vote More Likely

This is my favorite paragraph:

One Republican lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said several House Republicans are concerned that if DeLay returns he may be forced to step aside again should he be indicted by the Justice Department in connection with the Abramoff probe.

Please, please, please be stupid enough to bring that sleazy public relations disaster with feet back as your party's most visible Congressional leader.

You should write your local Republican leaders and DEMAND that Tom DeLay be restored to his very prominent and publicly visible leadership position.

clarice

Depends on two things:(a) how long til Earle wakes up and drops the rest of the indictment; and (b) if he doesn't, how quickly the prosecutorial misconduct charge can be heard.

I think it'll be set soon and be short and be conclusive..in DeLay's favor.

Gary Maxwell

Promise me Geek that you will do everything in power to keep Howie Dean front and center for the DNC. Code Pink is a Marxist organization and gave money to the terrorists in Fallujah!! In that case, even Tom Delay comes off looking moderate!

And your article says Roy Blount expects the Republicans to hold off on any leadership changes until at least the end of January. The trial will be held by then unless R. Earle cuts and runs ( what is it with Dems and this strategy anyway?).

Dwilkers

Do Earle's ethics and incompetence in the Delay case trouble you at all Geek?

BurkettHead

Geek said: "You should write your local Republican leaders and DEMAND that Tom DeLay be restored to his very prominent and publicly visible leadership position."

Since my representative is Roy Blunt, I don't think I'll be making that request. At least not until after I meet with our Governor, Matt Blunt, later this month.

Geek, Esq.

I don't know Texas law well enough to comment on what Earle is doing.

I was surprised when Earle indicted DeLay, to be honest. To me, the big story was always going to be Abramoff.

But, let's be clear: Tom DeLay proudly and brazenly auctions off political favors for financial and employment benefits to Republicans. That's what the K-Street project was all about. The man is the biggest sleaze in American politics since, well, as long as I've been alive.

Geek, Esq.

Since my representative is Roy Blunt, I don't think I'll be making that request. At least not until after I meet with our Governor, Matt Blunt, later this month.

Will his influence-peddling family members who work as DC lobbyists also be there?

Rick Ballard

"what is it with Dems and this strategy anyway?"

Umm, Gary - I think that the Dems have shown a remarkable degree of intelligence and perspicaity in all the decisions that they have made in the past six years or so. I would not presume to offer them advice as to the efficacy of said decisions. Every Republican should hope that the leadership of the Democratic Party continues to show the incisive grasp of political strategy and the stunning acumen that has lead them to where they are today.

I can find no fault with Geek's assessment and I hope that Democratic leadership listens to him very attentively and pursues his every suggestion. It's truly amazing what the Koslandians and DUers have been able to achieve in such a short time and I certainly hope that they stick with their ideas right to the very end.

You don't argue with their results, do you?

Geek, Esq.

Certainly the Dem strategy of criticizing Republican crimes is wiser than the Republican strategy of being a bunch of criminals.

Rick Ballard

Go for it Geek - you've got a firm grasp of the Koslandian motto - "Stuck on Stupid - and proud of it". Shovel faster - you'll get to the pony quicker.

maryrose

Hey Geek your minority leader looks pretty shaky right now.
Conservative judges- 10 or more

Supreme court conservative judges 2 or more
FILIBUSTER- Shut down
Reid powerless and soon to be indicted in Abramoff scandal.

maryrose

Rick.
My favorite expression this year is STUCK ON STUPID and that accurately describes the geek and the dems and their beating a dead horse approach to politics.

maryrose

Hey Geek your minority leader looks pretty shaky right now.
Conservative judges- 10 or more

Supreme court conservative judges 2 or more
FILIBUSTER- Shut down
Reid powerless and soon to be indicted in Abramoff scandal.

Geek, Esq.

How many House Republicans have been indicted, Rick?

Let's keep a running total of Republican vs. Democratic indictments in the House, shall we?

DougJ

Do you mean now, or in history, aptly-named Geek? Cos whatever you're seeing you is kid's stuff compared to Tammany Hall.

The Dumbokrats are simply using the one branch they still have some power over to try to criminalize conservative politics. Neither DeLay nor Cunningham did anything that a hundred Democratic congressmen haven't done. If they had a (D) next to their name instead of an (R), you'd be defending them both and claiming that their rights were being trampled on. You'd probably call in the ACLU, for pete's sake.

maryrose

Seattle mayor- voted out of office

Clinton-impeached
Gore- take money from monks cuz no controlling legel authority
tony coehlo-money problems
Espy- still waiting for final "almost blocked" report.
Shall I go on...

DougJ

Maryrose, you're leaving out Travelgate, White Water, Vince Foster's murder, any of which would have been reason for criminal investigations if the perpertators had been Republicans. But they had a (D) by their name, so they got off scot free.

Rick Ballard

Shhh, don't tell anyone! Otherwise they'll figure out that the scandal bit doesn't mean a damn thing at the ballot box.

Secret tip - watch CA50 - Cunningham's seat.

cathyf

Don't worry about Abramoff, geek. Sen. Dorgan has the situation well in hand...

New evidence is emerging that the top Democrat on the Senate committee currently investigating Jack Abramoff got political money arranged by the lobbyist back in 2002 shortly after the lawmaker took action favorable to Abramoff's tribal clients.

cathy :-)

MJW

Here's what I don't understand. If you read the second indictment, it talks about a transfer of funds from TRMPAC to the RNC and then to the candidates. Nowhere that I can see in the indictment does it allege that the original source of the funds was a corporation. Both TRMPAC and the RNC have as there only principle purpose "accepting political contributions and making political expenditures," and therefore aren't considered corporations for purposes of Subchapter D of Section 253 of the Texas election code. Therefore, even if the transaction was illegal, it didn't violate Subchapter D, and so, according to, Section 253.003, is at worst a misdemeanor.

This issue is mentioned in DeLay's brief, but isn't addressed in the court's decision other than some boilerplate about corporate contributions being illegal.

MJW

. . . their, not there, principle purpose . . .

I do know the difference; though my typing fingers don't: they type by sound alone.

DougJ

Cathyf, my guess is that a lot more Dems go down in this probe than Republicans. They've got their hands real dirty on all this Indian casino stuff.

clarice

MJM, I don't have an answer to your question because I think it is a good argument. OTOH you have to remember this is just a motion to dismiss and should Earle survive the prosecutorial misconduct dismissal motion, the issue can be raised on a more complete factual record before the trial starts and again at the conclusion of the prosecution's case in chief and finally at the end of the trial before it goes to the jury. (In fact, it can even be raised yet again after that on a motion for judgment notwithstanding verdict.

Rick Ballard

DougJ,

Gucci Gulf is an equal opportunity corruption service. This page at Open Secrets provides evidence of that fact. It all depends on what type of support is being purchased and who is "approachable" on a given matter.

The Dems have a slight edge overall but '02 was definitely an equal opportunity year.

rb

Hey, Geek, seems like you don't really have a day legal job ... what is this Esq. thing?

Going to law school once ... so what? You are always trolling, and seem to have no other visible means of support.

Got a trust fund, maybe?

The Republicans can vote on their leadership whenever and however they want.

And once this political hijacking is exposed for what it is, the Republicans can do what needs to be done to set the record clear, whatever you may think.

Gary Maxwell

Rick:

Your joshing with the ol geekster now aren't you.

He does not do subtle too well. You may have to spell it out for him.

DougJ

Thanks for the link, Rick. That is a very good site.

Rick Ballard

Gary,

Koslandians are all too young to know anything and too dumb to teach. There aren't enough crayons and rolls of butcher paper in the world to get a point across.

Politicians influenced by lobbyists!! No film at 11!

DougJ,

That's a Soros funded site - you can tell if you go to the front page. I won't vouch for all the info but they get most of it close to right. It's a delight to watch Dean's masterful continuous screwup of fundraising. The DNC had a great month in October - cash on hand only dropped $700K.

I'm wondering if there is not going to be a big Dem split prior to November. I count 14 Dem seats in districts that have only the faintest of bluish tints that are going to be increasingly difficult to defend if Dean keeps jabbering. The moderates desperately need for him to sit down and shut up.

clarice

Shhhh---Start posting on Kos rick, tell them not to give in to the majority dummies--ditto on DU..%^)

MJW

Clarice, it seems to me that there may be a practical problem with attacking the possible defect I mentioned with the laundering charge at a later time in the trial. The prosecution my present evidence at trial that the money was from a corporate source, even though the indictment itself doesn't make that claim. While that wouldn't actually cure a defect in the indictment, I'd think DeLay would be in a weaker position to argue the indictment is defective after the water had been muddied.

Truzenzuzex

MJW:

Nowhere that I can see in the indictment does it allege that the original source of the funds was a corporation. Both TRMPAC and the RNC have as there only principle purpose "accepting political contributions and making political expenditures," and therefore aren't considered corporations for purposes of Subchapter D of Section 253 of the Texas election code.
You make a good point, but I think it is moot. The indictment alleges a violation of the Texas election law, but doesn't charge that violation.

While the prosecution has to prove the violation of the election statute to get a conviction on money laundering (see Judge Priest's ruling on the dismissal motions, page 8), Priest expressly states in footnote 5 that conviction on the conspiracy count doesn't rest on proof of the election code violation. He also suggests that one or the other may fail ont the "Blockberger test". I looked up the Blockberger test, and the best explanation I could get was:

[it] inquires whether each offense contains an element not contained in the other; if not, they are the same offense and double jeopardy bars additional punishment and successive prosecution...
Basically, what the judge seems to be saying is that either the conspiracy count or the ML count might have to be dismissed if the facts used to prove them are identical.

In sum, I don't think the omission of text alleging a corporate donation is required for the purposes of the indictment, since the Subchapter D violation is not charged. It will still have to be proved, though, at least for the ML count.

Truzenzuzex

Oops. "Blockberger" should be "Blockburger".
Preview is for wimps.

Gary Maxwell

Tru

You may be onto what an attorney was trying to tell me (a dense layman). He basically said ML is the second offense. You have to prove money is first "dirty" (ie criminally gotten) for the 2nd crime of ML to occur.

So is the judge is hintng that the underlying crime is identical to the ML crime, then there isn't two crimes but one?

kim

Now, you've lost me, though I trust you.
===========================================

Truzenzuzex

Gary:

So is the judge is hintng that the underlying crime is identical to the ML crime, then there isn't two crimes but one?
There are two crimes charged in the indictment - conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering.

The underlying offense for the money laundering charge is the election code violation, which is not charged in the indictment.

From what I can glean, what all this means is that the prosecution must prove the election code violation happened (even though DeLay et. al. are not actually charged with violating the election code) in order to prove money laundering.

The conspiracy count is different. The prosecution need not prove that the election code violation actually happened in order to prove that there was a conspiracy to launder the money.

The Blockburger test applies to the ML and conspiracy count. If the same facts prove both the conspiracy and the actual ML case, one of the two must be dropped by the prosecution. Since the election code violation is not actually charged as a crime in the indictment, even if the prosecution somehow managed to prove the election code violation but not the ML or conspiracy, then the defendents will be acquitted.

Of course, the election code violation could be raised in a separate indictment, but IIRC there is some kind of jurisdictional quagmire that might prevent Earle from doing that himself.

Sue

Geek,

If Abramoff is linked to both a republican and a democrat, yet the republican received more bribe money than the democrat, does that make it a bigger scandal for the republican or an equal scandal for both? How about we have 3 republicans and 2 democrats linked to Abramoff? What degree makes it a bigger scandal for republicans?

Subcomandante Bob

National Nitwit has the story of new charges brought against Tom DeLay.

National Nitwit - guaranteed at least 50% truthful.

Truzenzuzex

After further reflection, I am convinced that the prosecution must fail the Blockburger test.

Earle must prove the election code violation to prove money laundering, but not to prove conspiracy.

If the prosecution proves the election code violation and that the people named in the indictment were involved, it proves the conspiracy and the money laundering charge. It is impossible not to prove conspiracy if you prove the election code violation. Frankly, if you prove the election code violation, the money laundering charge becomes a slam dunk as well.

So the same facts must prove both crimes if the election code violation is successfully proven. Ergo, one of the two (ML or conspiracy) must be dropped.

My money is on the ML charge. Conspiracy is much easier to prove, and make a minimum showing of evidentiary support.

Gary Maxwell

Well I think the statue of limitations has run on any unindicted crimes, hence the furious last push by Earle to find a sitting GJ and then a new GJ and push for a less than one day review of evidence and indictment.

What does the election code say, besides no corporate funds to candidates. Isn't that functionally indistinguishable from the ML charge?

If I give you a dollar from my corporation and later you give a dollar to someone else, how do we know its the same dollar? What if you give a quarter. If its less than a dollar is it part of the corporate dollar despite any passage of time and the fact that it is not the same amount?

In effect Earle is wanting to call the change of character of the funds as "laundering" which begets an election code violation. I think the law was written to be first a violation to creat criminally obtained money and then a laundering.

It looks to me like Earle will need to talk real fast and confuse the judge or he will never get to hear what the jury thinks.

Truzenzuzex

Gary:

What does the election code say, besides no corporate funds to candidates. Isn't that functionally indistinguishable from the ML charge?
You know, in a way it is, in that if you prove the election code violation, it seems to me that you also prove money laundering and conspiracy.

As I said above, I believe that will trigger Blockburger and force the prosecution to drop either the ML or the conspiracy count.

Gary Maxwell

If its functionally indistinguishable there aint two crimes. There is one crime. The "laundering" ( changing of the character of the funds as it passes through an entity) is the crime. And that aint the way the law is written, I am told. But maybe there is some legal eagle who can 'splain it to me.

Gary Maxwell

Chicken or egg.

You must first prove ML to get the (election code ) violation. But ML requires an antecedent crime which has not yet happened and cant be prved independent of the ML "crime".

Has my logic improved or just my ability to impart my thought in a semi intelligible sentence?

Gary Maxwell

Conspiracy is much easier to prove

Not to pick on you Truz but this is not my understanding either. Conspiracy require that you show a willfull intent to violate the law in cooperation with others. I always thought it was a tougher to prove, as it goes to intent no just simple actions.

Geek, Esq.

Tom DeLay's Woes Won't End in Texas.


The far graver threat to Mr. DeLay's political future is inside the Beltway, with the escalating scandal involving lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Mr. DeLay's ties to Mr. Abramoff are numerous. Some expenses associated with a political junket and golfing trip to the United Kingdom in 2000 showed up on Mr. Abramoff's credit card. Mr. DeLay made frequent use of Mr. Abramoff's skybox at the MCI Center. Christine DeLay, the congressman's wife, worked for a lobbying firm that received referrals from Mr. Abramoff. These only scratch the surface of a relationship between Mr. Abramoff, Mr. DeLay, and Mr. DeLay's office that stretches back a decade and involves some of the lobbyist's most noxious efforts.

It is the Michael Scanlon connection, however, that may prove to be the most damaging to Mr. DeLay and others on Capitol Hill. Mr. Scanlon was Mr. DeLay's press secretary who went on to become a partner of Mr. Abramoff. Last month he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to bribe public officials and is now cooperating in the broadening bribery and corruption probe.

"The gravity of events in Washington is a world away from the ethics antics in Austin. A former aide has turned star government witness. Congressional Republicans (those not implicated in the Abramoff scandal) are becoming increasingly inhospitable to Mr. DeLay's leadership. For all his grandiose faults, [Texas prosecutor] Ronnie Earle may be the best political friend Tom DeLay has right now.

As I said, his re-election as House Majority leader would be a Christmas present for Nancy Pelosi.

Geek, Esq.

If Abramoff is linked to both a republican and a democrat, yet the republican received more bribe money than the democrat, does that make it a bigger scandal for the republican or an equal scandal for both? How about we have 3 republicans and 2 democrats linked to Abramoff? What degree makes it a bigger scandal for republicans?

Abramoff's dealings with Democrats were much less involved in their nature. He had his tribal clients spread some campaign donations around to Democrats--but there's very little unusual about that practice. It's in his dealings with Ralph Reed, Grover Norquist, Tom DeLay, and Bob Ney that he engaged in the illegal, quid pro quo stuff.

clarice

Gary, I don't imagine it will be easy to prove willful intent to violate the law when the opposition party did the same thing in 2002 and both groups apparently were relying on the advice of counsel who indicated the financing arrangement did not violate the law.

The National Review online has an article exploring the case and concludes that both of the remaining charges appear to have overlapping factual predicates and that is that is the case one will have to be dropped or the matter will violate the prohibition on double jeopardy.

And then, there's that evidentiary problem of the prosecutor's lack of evidence about the contributions to the Texas Republican candidates..unless the TANG memo precedent is followed and a creatively "reconstructed" fake list is allowed.

Gary Maxwell

Excited about Republicans but Democrats well not so much. I think I am getting the drift of your concern.

kim

Were the differences, G.E,
In quality or degree?
===========================

Sue

Geek,

Hope you aren't surprised by anything.

kim

Dems be little indigian thiefs.
Repubs be heap big chief thiefs.

Just to be keeping tabs on the Big Chiefs. There's gotta be a new one around here, somewhere. Oh, my valve.
==========================

Wilson's a liar

There is no leadership election in January, unless 50 House Republicans request one and a majority of the caucus agrees, or DeLay resigns as Leader. Leadership elections are held at the beginning of a new Congress. If DeLay refuses to resign as Leader, there will have to be 50 brave Republicans sign a letter requesting an election, and a lot of others agreeing to it. Not gonna happen if it looks like DeLay will get the money laundering charges dropped. Nor should he. The whole point of Ronnie Earle's bogus indictments were to get DeLay to step down. He and his DNC pals think "the damage is done" even if all the indictments end up thrown out. They obviously do not know Tom DeLay or the House Republican Caucus very well. They are not going to know what hit them when this BS indictment gets thrown out.

And the House GOP caucus is going to throw Bob Ney under the bus to avoid any further indictments, including DeLay. Hide and watch.

Geek, Esq.

Were the differences, G.E,
In quality or degree?

Both. Michael Scanlon pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman Robert Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee.

And that's just a taste.

clarice

Yes, Wilson--You'd think the press would watch Rome or something to get a clue.

In the meantime, the latest on the case:

[quote]AUSTIN — Rep. Tom DeLay asked a judge today to move forward on just one of the two remaining criminal charges against him, an effort to go to trial quickly and bypass a possibly long appeals process expected from prosecutors.


Judge Pat Priest on Monday dismissed one conspiracy charge against DeLay but let stand charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.

Because Priest stripped some language in the remaining conspiracy charge, that count could remain tied up in courts if the state appeals. DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin asked Priest to isolate the money laundering charge and move forward with a trial on that charge alone.

The Republican lawmaker from Sugar Land is seeking a quick resolution of the charges so he can regain his post as House majority leader. As long as indictments are pending, House Republican rules prevent him from serving in the seat.

DeGuerin said severing the remaining charges would "prevent expected efforts by the state to delay a public resolution of the case."

District Attorney Ronnie Earle has until Dec. 20 to appeal Priest's ruling.

Priest said he's not likely to set another hearing until its clear whether the state will appeal, but DeGuerin asked Priest to schedule a pre-trial hearing for next week and asked that a trial be tentatively scheduled for the first or second week in January.(more)[/quote] http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/3509270.html

Earle doesn't dare file an appeal on the dismissal.

maryrose

Clarice
I agree Earle has definitely overplayed his hand and will not file an appeal. This situation is lose/lose for him.

DougJ

"Both. Michael Scanlon pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman Robert Ney, chairman of the House Administration Committee.

And that's just a taste."

Geek, the most likely targets of Scanlon's testimony are Democrats. They're the ones with their hands dirty, they're the ones who are doing down. I expect 3-5 Democrat Congressmen to get indicted in this probe. I predict at most one Republican. Get back to me in a few months and we'll see who was right.

kim

Different in quality and degree? How so different?

Do you hear the howl(singular) of laughter as DJ baits you?
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kim

I like 'Indigean' better than 'Indigian'. I much prefer that term to 'Native American', which imprecisely characterizes only the earliest of the natives. And which of those IAN's are properly capitalized?
============================================

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Wilson/Plame