Prosecutor reveals third grand jury had refused DeLay indictment


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Desertdog
October 5, 2005, 11:00 AM
Looks like dirty politics to me. The most enlightening part is in the last 5 paragraphs. They should have been the first 5.

Prosecutor reveals third grand jury had refused DeLay indictment
Newly impaneled grand jury returned money-laundering charge within hours
http://www.statesman.com/metrostate/content/metro/stories/10/5earle.html#
By Laylan Copelin

A Travis County grand jury last week refused to indict former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as prosecutors raced to salvage their felony case against the Sugar Land Republican.

In a written statement Tuesday, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle acknowledged that prosecutors presented their case to three grand juries not just the two they had discussed and one grand jury refused to indict DeLay. When questions arose about whether the state's conspiracy statute applied to the first indictment returned last Wednesday, prosecutors presented a new money-laundering charge to second grand jury on Friday because the term of the initial grand jury had expired.

Working on its last day Friday, the second grand jury refused to indict DeLay. Normally, a "no-bill" document is available at the courthouse after such a decision. No such document was released Tuesday.

Earle's statement on Tuesday said he took money-laundering and conspiracy charges to a third grand jury on Monday after prosecutors learned of new evidence over the weekend.

Lawyers for DeLay immediately called foul after Earle released his statement after 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"What could have happened over the weekend?" said Austin lawyer Bill White, who represents DeLay. "They investigate for three years and suddenly they have new evidence? That's beyond the pale!"

White suggested that Earle released his statement Tuesday because he feared reporters would learn about the no-bill.

In his statement, Earle said he would have no further comment because grand jury proceedings are secret.

DeLay's legal team, led by Houston lawyer Dick DeGuerin, has been taking to the airwaves to portray Earle as an incompetent prosecutor who is pursuing DeLay only as a political vendetta.

"It just gets worse and worse," DeGuerin said. "He's gone to three grand juries over four days. Where does it stop?"

The first grand jury, impaneled by state District Judge Mike Lynch, a Democrat, had spent six months hearing evidence that Republican groups had violated a state ban against spending corporate money in the 2002 campaigns, including the exchange of $190,000 of corporate money for the same amount of campaign donations from the Republican National Committee.

The grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of conspiring to violate the state election laws, a state-jail felony. As DeLay's lawyers waited to raise an issue whether the conspiracy law applied to the election code, prosecutors apparently learned of the issue.

According to Earle's Tuesday statement, prosecutors presented "some evidence" to a second grand jury impaneled by District Judge Julie Kocurek, a Republican, "out of an abundance of caution."

It's unclear whether those grand jurors refused to indict DeLay on money-laundering charges, a first-degree felony, because of the evidence or because it was given to them on the last day of their 90-day term.

Earle did not say in his statement what new evidence surfaced over the weekend. White, who said he doubts the evidence exists, challenged Earle to reveal it. Prosecutors also called Lynch's grand jurors over the weekend to poll them on how they would have voted on money-laundering charges if they had been given the chance.

Then prosecutors tried again Monday with a new grand jury.

When Monday's grand jury, impaneled by District Judge Brenda Kennedy, a Democrat, reported for its first day, Earle was there to ask them to indict the second most powerful Texan in Washington.

About four hours later, the new felony indictments were returned.

DeGuerin said he assumes Earle persuaded the third grand jury to act by telling them about the telephone poll of the grand jurors who had spent six months on the case.

"That's outrageous," DeGuerin said. "That's criminal."

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El Tejon
October 5, 2005, 11:10 AM
All is fair in love and war. In politics, they love to make war. :D

Just part of the Left's counteroffensive. They've been working on this for years and have the timing down perfect.

Nothing in the middle in Texas but dead amadillos, yellow stripes and Lone Star cans.

The first indictment was a disaster. Do not understand why did not seek Money Laundering, Fraud, Wire Bank, Fraud on Financial Institution (or Tejas equivlaents), inter alia at same time as Money Laundering? :confused: Would imagine those are to come.

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