Saturday, October 01, 2005

Tom Delay's Explanation

Yesterday, I posted Mr. Delay’s explanation for his inexplicable decision to waive the statute of limitations on criminal conspiracy.

DELAY: I was sort of extorted out of that. Ronnie Earle let my lawyers know last week that I was going to be indicted because he had a runaway grand jury and that he was not going to go in and talked him out of it unless I waive my statute of limitations rights for another 30 days.
So I thought, "Yes, let's keep working on it."

This is a pretty inarticulate transcript, which needs some interpretation in order to even discuss it.

Try my paraphrase:

It was extorted out of me. Ronnie Earle told my lawyers that I was going to be indicted, because the grand jury was beyond his control. Earle told us that he wouldn’t intervene to stop the indictment unless I waived the statute of limitations for another 30 days.

In other words: The Hammer was duped.

Imagine the righteous outrage that would be flowing if, indeed, Ronnie Earle lied to Tom Delay. If the “lying prosecutor defense” were available, we would have heard it loud and long from Delay and his attorneys.

There is something wrong with this explanation. If the Grand Jury was going to indict him, why did Ronnie Earle need the waiver? And why would Delay bother giving that waiver, unless there was something specific in it for him.

Delay signed a waiver for a specific charge: Criminal Conspiracy for a specific activity involving a check dated September 13, 2002. The indictment was issued by the Grand Jury on September 28, 2005, 15 days beyond the statute of limitations of any crimes associated with the use of that check.

I believe that this waiver was the result of tough negotiations involving very skilled lawyers and experienced prosecutors. It was a negotiation that benefited BOTH parties. Ronnie Earle got an indictment of Tom Delay that was not cluttered by the debate over statute of limitations. Tom Delay got an indictment that does NOT allege an overt act on his part, while removing the possibility of other more embarrassing indictments.

I disagree with Crime & Federalism. I don’t believe there is a plea deal. The parties involved probably believe they can win their case on the facts and the law, and will probably allow that issue to be determined by a jury.

Tom Delay will fight it, and might win. But, Tom Delay won’t be back as Majority Leader. Which is something Ronnie Earle wants.

Whether Earle wins the case or not, he has achieved the outcome he desired, in a “holy war,” against the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Tom Delay was not Earle’s target because he was a Republican. He was a target because he was extremely skilled at the political money game, especially in Texas politics.

Next on the Rail: The case against Tom Delay is too close to call. Not as flimsy as you think.