September 29, 2005
Mr. Earle had indicted three other DeLay associates in the same case in September 2004, just six weeks before the last election. Followers of the case have speculated that, as he saw his legal bills mount, one of those three may have decided to testify against Mr. DeLay.Some legal minds on the Right - including "the Great One" Mark Levin - have observed that this particular indictment doesn't list any specific charges against DeLay, but rather includes him on a guilt-by-association basis with no rationale as to why. Expect that the strength (or lack thereof) of this case will be scrutinized by the Pajamahadeen.
The Majority Leader also deserves the presumption of innocence because of Mr. Earle's guilty past. A liberal Democrat, he has a history of indicting political enemies, Democrat and Republican, on flimsy evidence that didn't hold up in court. In the mid-1980s, he indicted Attorney General Jim Mattox, a rival of his ally Ann Richards, on bribery charges. Mr. Mattox was acquitted and won re-election.
In 1993, he indicted Kay Bailey Hutchison, who'd just been elected to the U.S. Senate, on charges of misconduct and records tampering. Mr. Earle was forced to drop the case even before it went to trial. Earlier this year, the prosecutor delivered a widely criticized speech at a Democratic fund-raiser in which he compared his prosecutorial targets to "Mussolini and his fascists" and all but declared that he had Mr. DeLay in his sights.
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