- Sep 23, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
DeLay's Lawyers Press Judge to Step Aside By SUZANNE GAMBOA, Associated Press Writer
13 minutes ago
AUSTIN, Texas - Proceedings in the political-money case against Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, are on hold after the congressman's lawyer asked the presiding judge to step aside because he made campaign donations to Democrats and their liberal allies.
The former House Republican leader, charged with conspiracy and money laundering, did not speak during the brief session but read a statement later accusing prosecutor Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, of partisanship.
He said that because Earle and the Democratic Party "could not beat me at the ballot box and could not beat me on the floor of the House of Representatives, they are now desperately trying to challenge me in a courtroom."
Perkins denied bias but ended the exchange quickly, saying, "The best way for me to handle" the request for a different judge would be to defer further proceedings.
That means the issue now goes to hearing before a state administrative judge, B.B. Schraub.
DeLay and two political associates are accused of funneling corporate money to Texas legislative campaigns, in violation of state law prohibiting use of these donations for election or defeat of state candidates.
Two grand juries accused the three men of sending $190,000 in corporate money, raised by a Texas group founded by DeLay, to the Republican National Committee in Washington, and having the money routed back to several Texas candidates.
The felony charges triggered an upheaval in the House Republican leadership, as DeLay was obligated to step aside under House rules.