10/04/2005

Daily Kos: Did DeLay's Lawyer Just Screw Up?

Did DeLay's Lawyer Just Screw Up?
by emptywheel
Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 11:22:54 CDT

(From the diaries -- kos)

Cross-posted on The Next Hurrah

A bit of a chess game is developing in Texas, as Ronnie Earle attempts to make Tom DeLay pay for his sins. First, we had an indictment on conspiracy, a charge which carries a penalty of six months to two years in jail. "Conspiracy!" Republican operatives mocked. "This is just a conspiracy against Tom DeLay." And really, people said, conspiracy is just what you charge when you've got nothing better.

But then DeLay lawyer Dick Deguerin, who embarrassed Ronnie Earle in the Kay Bailey Hutchison case, files a motion to say the conspiracy statue didn't apply to campaign finance law in TX until September 2003, a year after DeLay dreamt up his little conspiracy.

Wham!! Just a few hours later, Earle (who seems to have snuck a new grand jury into his back pocket without Deguerin noticing) gets a jury to indict on money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Charges which carry sentences of up to life in prison for the money laundering charge, and twenty years for the conspiracy to commit money laundering.

An interesting chess game, so far. But what I'm really wondering is, did Deguerin just piss away the advantage he bought by waiving the statute of limitations on the conspiracy charge?

You see, as at least two people (including DKos' own Walt starr) have speculated, Deguerin may have had DeLay sign the waiver as part of a deal. He waives the statute of limitations. And then he only gets charged with conspiracy, not the more serious crime of money laundering. ..

So Deguerin, thinking he's the smartest thing in Texas, waits for the first grand jury to run out, believing his guy is in the clear, then he starts attacking the lesser charge he bargained for.

Sometimes fancy lawyers can get just too fancy

Daily Kos: Did DeLay's Lawyer Just Screw Up?

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