Reading the headlines of the DeLay proceedings yesterday, you'd think he lost and his rivals in his party would be freed up to start measuring his office for new curtains. I don't think so.
I think in a motion to dismiss, the Judge is compelled to read everything in the pleadings and affidavits in support of the motion in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion, and having done that Judge Priest concluded the conspiracy charges had to be dismissed with prejudice.
DeLay moved to dismiss the money laundering charges on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct, and that issue cannot be resolved without a hearing, a hearing by the way which should not take a great deal of time.
On the merits of the money laundering claim, Ed Morrissey's view mirrors mine. He says:
Here's what the NYT hides until the last paragraph of its coverage, and what the Washington Post doesn't bother to report at all except as a potential delay to a trial:
Judge Priest also said he had yet to rule on a defense motion of prosecutorial misconduct.
The motion regarding prosecutorial misconduct relates directly to the two remaining charges. If the judge rules that Earle acted unethically or illegally in getting the indictment, the remaining charges will also get dismissed — and it seems a fair bet that it will happen, especially since Priest hasn't yet dismissed the motion out of hand. Earle went out after the first grand jury refused to indict DeLay on money—laundering charges and tried to get a second grand jury to bring an indictment. When that failed, he formed a third grand jury without ever telling them (or the court) about the second grand jury and got the indictment within four hours of forming the third pool. That bill comprises all the remaining charges against DeLay.
And if by some change that part of the indictment survives, there are still considerable hurdles Earle must meet to convict:
If the State can prove that funds were obtained from corporate contributors by these defendants with the express intent of converting those funds to the use of individual candidates, or if the state can prove that these defendants entered into an agreement to convert the monies already on hand, thought originally received for lawful purposes, to that use by sending the money to the Republican National State Elections Committee with an agreement that funds of the same amount would then be made available by that committee to individual candidates for Texas political office, and can prove that funds in the same amount were in fact contributed to individual candidates by the Republican National State Elections Committee, then they will have established that money was laundered The money would have become 'dirty money' at the point that it began to be held with the prohibited intent. Of course, if the state cannot establish that beyond a reasonable doubt, then the defendants will be entitled to be acquitted.
Clarice Feldman 12 06 05