Monday, October 03, 2005

DeLay Faces New Indictment

Another Texas grand jury handed down a new indictment against former majority leader Tom DeLay today, this time charging him with money laundering. (USA Today: Tom DeLay indicted on money laundering charge). According to the indictment, DeLay is accused of funnelling funds from corporate donations to the RNC and then having the RNC redirect those funds to Texas candidates in the 2002 elections. Corporate donations to candidates are prohibited under Texas law.

This new charge carries more weight than does the conspiracy charge handed down last week. In fact, DeLay may find those charges dismissed since the law upon which the conspiracy charge is based took effect the year after the alleged incidents. DeLay's lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss those charges, however the presiding judge was on vacation and has yet to rule on the case.

Even if the initial charges are dismissed, it appears likely the money laundering charge imposed today will still proceed. Not that a dismissal in the first case will be able to revitalize his political career, now that the issue is out in the open. It is unlikely that House Republicans will risk political backlash in an election year by reinstating DeLay as majority leader. Regardless of how this turns out, it is likely that DeLay's leadership tenure is at an end.


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