Saturday, October 08, 2005

Political Affairs Magazine - DeLay Indictment: The Hammer Searches for an Alibi

Political Affairs Magazine - DeLay Indictment: The Hammer Searches for an Alibi

After a second indictment on the charge of money laundering by a Texas grand jury this week, a Houston newspaper is reporting that Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) has changed his story about his involvement in illegal campaign finance transactions.

Early in the investigation, the former House Majority Leader told Travis County Prosecutor Ronnie Earle that he knew about a $190,000 donation from his Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC) to the Republican National Committee (RNC). The $190,000 was turned over in September 2002 with the request that the RNC make non-corporate donations to several Texas Republican candidates.

It would have been illegal to give the $190,000 to the Texas Republicans as several corporations had donated the money. The Texas grand jury has already indicted DeLay and two other TRMPAC officials on criminal charges for conspiring to use corporate donations to finance political campaigns illegally. The new indictment says that DeLay laundered the additional $190,000 to try to skirt this law.

Claiming he "misspoke," DeLay told ultra right radio personality Rush Limbaugh earlier this week that he tried to changed his story about knowing about the $190,000, but that the prosecutor wouldn't let him.

DeLay's lawyer, however, has two other stories about when DeLay knew about the check. On the same day that DeLay complained to Limbaugh about not being able to change his tune, his lawyer told the Houston Chronicle that DeLay didn’t know about the check until an October 2, 2002 meeting with his indicted co-conspirators.

Two days later, DeLay’s lawyers changed his story. He now claims that DeLay didn’t know until much later.

OK, why can't DeLay get his story straight?


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