Monday, January 09, 2006

Texas court refuses to dismiss DeLay charges

I think it's time for another exciting episode of The Tom DeLay Comedy Hour! This is from CNN.Com:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The state's highest criminal court on Monday denied Rep. Tom DeLay's request that the money laundering charges against him be dismissed or sent back to a lower court for an immediate trial.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied the requests with no written order two days after he announced he was stepping down as House majority leader. DeLay had been forced to temporarily relinquish the Republican leadership post after he was indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges in September.

DeLay, who denies wrongdoing, had been trying to rush to trial in Texas in hopes of clearing his name and regaining the position.

Poor Tom DeLay--he just can't seem to get a break from the legal tricks and traps. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals said, "NO! NO! NO! Tommy-boy, you're just not going to wiggle out of these money laundering charges! You're going to trial!" No dismissing DeLay's case. No excusing this as being a partisan attack on DeLay's "moral" character. No more my-dog-ate-my-homework excuses.

So now that DeLay can't seem to get out of this case, the next step is to quickly push this case through a speedy trial. Continuing on:

DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said they will continue to push for a quick trial because DeLay faces opposition in the March Republican primary.

"We'd like to get it over with before then, but it's not as crucial as it would have been if he were still in the running for his leadership post," DeGuerin said.

A spokesman for Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle had no immediate comment.

The trial court judge in December dismissed a conspiracy charge against DeLay but refused to throw out more serious allegations of money laundering. Prosecutors appealed that decision, and the judge decided not to proceed with the case until the appeal is resolved. It is still being considered by the 3rd Court of Appeals.

In other words, DeLay wants to have this trial finished before the March Republican primary in Texas. Now I'm not sure that this case will be over with before March. Money laundering is a complicated case--not only to try, but also for the jury to deliberate and decide upon. You also have to remember that the 3rd Court of Appeals is also considering the conspiracy charges against DeLay. The money laundering trial is probably not going to start until after the 3rd Court makes its decision on the appeal of the conspiracy charges--let's assume the 3rd Court makes its decision in late January / early February. I'd wager that this trial is not going to start until late February or early March. The trial may last for at least a month--I'm not even going to speculate on the time for jury deliberations. All this means is that DeLay may still be sitting in court, rather than campaigning in Texas during the March primary. I'm not sure how DeLay can handle campaigning for his seat, while sitting in court eight hours a day, five days a week, during his trial.

Could it be that Tom DeLay may have to relinquish his House seat as well?


enigma4ever said...

hmm, who will have a worse month? Duke? ( he gets sentenced soon right? ) or Tommy? ....
It will be very interesting to watch....
( he is still polling in the low 30's in Texas...ouch)

Eric A Hopp said...

Don't forget Jack--he's not having too good of a time, sitting in a smoke-filled, darkened room with a single spotlight shining on his face, while shadowy feds hover over him, asking him LOTS of questions.