DeLay Money Laundering Charges Stick

It looks like Tom DeLay will not be able to regain his leadership position in the House in January. The judge in his Texas criminal case today refused to dismiss the money laundering charges against him. While the conspiracy charges were dismissed, DeLay now must stand trial, and it is unlikely the trial can be scheduled before the end of the year.

As to the dismissed charges:

In asking that the case be thrown out, DeLay lawyer Dick DeGuerin argued that one of the charges -- conspiracy to violate the Texas election code -- did not even take effect until September 2003, a year after the alleged offenses occurred.

Prosecutors, however, said the crime of conspiracy was already on the books, and could be applied to the election code even though such uses were not explicitly in state law at the time. The judge was unpersuaded by that argument and dismissed the conspiracy charge.

On the money laundering:

...the judge upheld charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Those charges involve an alleged attempt by DeLay to conceal the source of the campaign contributions by funneling the money through his own political action committee and then an arm of the Republican National Committee.

Conspiracy to violate the election code carries up to two years in prison. Money laundering is punishable by five years to life. Conspiracy to commit money laundering carries two years.

Under House rules, a Representative cannot have a leadership position while he is under indictment.

When he was indicted in September, DeLay was required under House rules to relinquish the leadership post he had held since early 2003. While Monday's ruling was a partial victory for DeLay, he cannot reclaim his post because he remains under indictment.

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  • Re: DeLay Money Laundering Charges Stick (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:06:40 PM EST
    From CNN, "Texas Judge Pat Priest, who is presiding over the case against the Republican, issued the ruling after a hearing late last month." On the Munsters on TV, Pat Priest played Marilyn Munster, the daughter. OK, probably not the same Pat Priest, but . . .