Captain's Quarters Blog

« The Liberal Editorial Triumvirate On Miers: Stealth Or Legacy? | Main | Schroeder Fading From Office -- Slowly »

October 4, 2005
The Second Indictment: Second Verse Stinks Worse Than The First

The grudge match between Ronnie Earle and Tom DeLay went from blatantly political to surreal yesterday after Earle managed to get an indictment within hours of empaneling a grand jury that had eluded him for months with a previous panel. After DeLay's attorney Dick De Guerin filed an expected motion for an expected dismissaal of the indictment Earle issued, one that lacked any mention of lawbreaking on DeLay's part, Earle's sudden ability to add money laundering to the charges raised eyebrows throughout the legal world:

The new indictment was brought on the first day of deliberations by a newly empaneled grand jury in Austin. The grand jury that brought the original conspiracy charges against Mr. DeLay, and which had been investigating the lawmaker for months, was disbanded last week.

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." ...

Within hours, Mr. Earle responded with the new money-laundering indictment, brought before a grand jury that was in its first hours of operation. Mr. DeGuerin said in a telephone interview that the new grand jury could not have understood what it was approving: "These are 12 people who are newly sworn in, and just getting them oriented takes them all day."

Earle, in other words, appears to have abused the grand jury system to get an indictment that his previous panel denied him, and rightfully so. As has been pointed out numerous times, if the Republicans laundered money through the transactions Earle uses as evidence, then the Democrats did exactly the same thing -- and yet Earle, who raised over $100,000 for Democrats last May talking about this case, has done nothing to pursue them for either conspiracy or money-laundering:

At stake in 2002 was control of the Texas legislature, which was to redraw congressional district lines. Corporate contributions to legislative candidates are illegal in Texas. The DeLay aides stand accused of violating that prohibition, along with eight companies like Sears Roebuck that provided the funds. The corporate money, however, never went to the candidates. Instead, it went to a much larger fund for state elections controlled by the Republican National Committee in Washington. That committee made contributions to Texas legislative candidates, constituting what Earle now charges is "money laundering."

The only problem is that similar transactions are conducted by both parties in many states, including Texas. In fact, on October 31, 2002, the Texas Democratic Party sent the Democratic National Committee (DNC) $75,000, and on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $75,000. On July 19, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000 and, again on the same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000. On June 8, 2001, the Texas Democratic Party sent the DNC $50,000. That very same day, the DNC sent the Texas Democratic Party $60,000.

District attorneys represent all of the community and as officers of the court have strict responsibilities to enforce the law equally, without bias or prejudice. Their actions can have far-reaching consequences as they have access to fairly one-sided legal mechanisms that can cause great havoc in the lives of citizens. For that reason, most states require DAs to hold to a high standard of personal conduct in their role as the legal representative of The People.

The quick issuance of this additional indictment shows that Earle not only has focused on DeLay for strictly personal and political reasons -- fixated might be a better word -- but that he fully understands that his original indictment had no chance of being upheld. He betrayed the trust invested in him as an officer of the court and used those mechanisms to push his personal, political goals. Not only should the state of Texas start an investigation into Earle's activities in abusing his office, but the state Bar should begin questioning his standing to remain an attorney at all.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 4, 2005 5:53 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Second Indictment: Second Verse Stinks Worse Than The First:

» This is getting ridiculous from hubs and spokes
If you thought the first indictment against Tom DeLay was suspect, wait until you see the second one! Earle, in other words, appears to have abused the grand jury system to get an indictment that his previous panel denied... [Read More]

Tracked on October 4, 2005 8:07 AM

» Ronnie The Clown from The Strata-Sphere
How is it a rogue prosecutor, who is so delusional he believes he is on a mission from God to purge money from politics, can abuse our legal system and crank out crack pot indictments against a national leader? In Ronnie The Clown’s first act h... [Read More]

Tracked on October 4, 2005 9:32 PM

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!