Mar 16, 2004
The Noose Tightens
Richard E. Cohen in this morning’s Congress Daily/AM (registration required) summarizes developments in the DeLay Fundraising Scandal.
Important points to note:
* The Grand Jury’s term may need to be extended because “Republican paperwork requests have ‘taken many people lots of hours that could have been spent doing other things.’ ”
* The Texas GOP is pulling out all the stops to prevent the investigation from continuing.
As the noose of the Texas grand jury appears to be tightening, DeLay and his allies have responded with increasingly harsh attacks on Earle, including DeLay’s characterization of the prosecutor as “vindictive and partisan.” They have proposed steps that might end state funding of the investigation, or strip his office of jurisdiction over alleged state political crimes. “It makes absolutely no sense for a local district attorney to have such far-reaching authority, especially since it can clearly be abused for partisan purposes,” said Texas GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser, who has proposed that the state party endorse a resolution to transfer Earle’s public integrity unit to the office of Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican.