Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Tom DeLay, the godfather of Peter Roskam's political career, has been indicted by a second Texas grand jury, charging him with the first-degree felony of money laundering.

From your Chicago Tribune:
Six days after an indictment of Rep. Tom DeLay on conspiracy charges roiled the political establishment, a new grand jury issued a second indictment Monday, charging him with the far more serious crime of money laundering. ***

A grand jury issued an indictment charging DeLay with conspiracy to commit money laundering, a second-degree felony, and money laundering, a first-degree felony. ***

[University of Texas law professor George Dix] said that while the indictments overlap in several areas, there are differences.

Both focus on a single financial transaction--a $190,000 check that was written to the Republican National Committee in Washington by Austin-based Texans for a Republican Majority, founded by DeLay in 2001. The money had been collected from corporations nationwide. The money was distributed to seven legislative candidates in Texas, although GOP attorneys say the money came from a different account.

The first indictment appears to focus on the effort by DeLay's political action committee to collect the corporate donations and funnel them to the RNC. The new one focuses on the back end of that transaction.

"My judgment is that simply because a prosecutor decides that one approach is more effective than another doesn't necessarily suggest some major weakness or anything other than a continuing effort to adjust the case to what appears to be the most favorable theory," Dix said.
If convicted on the money-laundering charge, which is a first-degree felony, DeLay could receive a sentence of up to life in prison.

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