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Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

Arrest warrant issued for DeLay

October 20, 2005

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— A state court issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday for Rep. Tom DeLay, requiring him to appear in Texas for booking on state conspiracy and money laundering charges.

The court set an initial $10,000 bail as a routine step before the Texas Republican's first court appearance Friday.

DeLay, R-Texas, could be fingerprinted and photographed, although his attorneys had hoped to avoid this step. DeLay probably will surrender in his home county of Fort Bend, near Houston, but he could go to any law enforcement office in Texas. His court appearance will be in Austin.

The warrant, known as a capias, is "a matter of routine and bond will be posted," said DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin.

DeLay has stepped down as U.S. House majority leader - at least temporarily - under a Republican rule requiring him to relinquish the post if charged with a felony.

Two grand juries have charged DeLay and two political associates in an alleged scheme to violate state election law, by funneling corporate donations to candidates for the Texas Legislature. State law prohibits use of corporate donations to finance state campaigns, although the money can be used for administrative expenses.

The indictments charge that a DeLay-founded Texas political committee sent corporate donations to the Republican National Committee in Washington, and the national party sent funds back to the state for 2002 campaigns.

DeLay has denied wrongdoing and accused Travis County Dist. Atty. Ronnie Earle - a Democrat - of having partisan motives. Earle has denied the accusation.

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