Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was back in the news today when he had the colossal balls to ask a judge to throw out the campaign finance corruption charge against him. Yahoo News AP Wire excerpt:
AUSTIN, Texas - Hoping to regain his post as House majority leader when Congress reconvenes in January, Rep. Tom DeLay asked a judge Tuesday to throw out the campaign-finance case against him.
However, the judge said that the Republican congressman will have to wait until at least December for a decision, and that the conspiracy and money-laundering case would probably not go to trial before the first of the year.
DeLay and two Republican fundraisers are accused of illegally funneling $190,000 in corporate donations to GOP candidates for the Texas Legislature. The direct use of corporate money for political purposes is illegal in Texas.
DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin argued that the conspiracy charges were based on a law that was not even on the books when the alleged conspiracy happened. But prosecutor Rick Reed disputed that, saying that the Legislature was just clarifying the law in 2003 and that state law has long defined conspiracy as an agreement to commit any felony.
Is that really going to be their defense, that doing illegal things is okay as long as there was no specific laws against such activities at the time they were carried out? You gotta give DeLay one thing--of all the things on which he has is short, such as brains, compassion and humility, he certainly has a lot of chutzpa.
DeLay wants the charges dismissed or resolved in his favor by January. Under House rules, he was forced to give up his leadership post after he was charged with a felony. But he could regain it if he is cleared before Congress returns.
However, Judge Pat Priest said he wants to read written arguments from both sides before making his ruling. He gave attorneys one week to file their arguments, and said he would probably made his decision a week after that.
I wouldn't hold my breath if I were Mr. DeLay. From Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo (via Atrios):
That's because today (Nov. 21) Michael Scanlon, Jack Abramoff's partner in much of the Indian gambling-congressional cash-n-carry hijinks you've been hearing about, pled guilty to bribe a congressman and other public officials. He agreed to pay back $19 million to Indian tribes he and Abramoff defrauded. He was also sentenced to 51 to 63 months in federal prison. However, that sentence was immediately suspended. And it will be reduced if Scanlon continues to cooperate with federal prosecutors.
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For those keeping score at home, part of Scanlon's "cooperation" could be to roll over on his former boss, none other than, that's right, Tom DeLay, whom Scanlon used to work for as an aide. Ah, the GOP. Does that stand for Greedy Overbearing Pricks? Just asking...