This is a transcript of Tom DeLay’s remarks, delivered this morning at the Texas State Capitol. I think all Republicans–especially the Bush administration–can learn from DeLay’s uncompromising response to unfair attacks by Democrats:
This morning I appeared before the court and emphatically stated what I have maintained all along during this unfortunate episode: I have committed NO WRONGDOING. I know that, and more importantly, Ronnie Earle knows it.
You may be surprised to hear me say this, but I find this to be a good day. Today I was provided the opportunity to go before the Court and refute these baseless charges that are the result of a political vendetta being acted out by Ronnie Earle.
Unfortunately for Ronnie Earle, the facts and the law are on MY SIDE.
The ONLY reason I had to stand in that courtroom today was because Ronnie Earle has abused his prosecutorial power and pursued these contrived and baseless charges.
Because of actions that I took through the democratic process to rid this very legislature of years of unfair gerrymandering by Texas Democrats, I became a target of Ronnie Earle.
Because I was successful in exercising my right to be involved in a political process that elected more Republicans, I became a target of Ronnie Earle.
And because Ronnie Earle and the Democratic Party could not beat me at the ballot box, could not beat me on the floor of the House of Representatives, they are now desperately trying to challenge me in a courtroom.
In short, I have been charged for defeating Democrats, advocating constitutional representation, and advancing the Republican agenda.
Ronnie Earle and the Democrat campaign behind him will be unsuccessful. I will fight this prosecutor’s abuse of the legal system and I will be absolutely exonerated.
I will not let a prosecutor who pursues his political enemies by abusing the law and manufacturing baseless charges wreck our justice system. Grand jury shopping and make-the-law-up-as-you-go injustice by the District Attorney will not rule the day. The facts and the law will rule the day.
A fair trial with an impartial jury will look at the facts and understand that–without a doubt-I committed no wrongdoing whatsoever.
I look forward to presenting the facts and putting my faith in the law in order to welcome my inevitable exoneration.
Thank you once again for this opportunity to talk with you all. Have a nice day.
As we noted yesterday, DeLay’s lawyers have also filed motions to transfer the venue of the case and for recusal of the trial judge, Robert Perkins. The recusal motion is very interesting; it recites Judge Perkins’ support for many Democratic candidates and causes, itemizing no fewer than 34 such contributions. (Perkins apparently has never contributed to a Republican.) Most significant are the judge’s contributions to the Democratic National Committee and MoveOn.org. Perkins contributed to MoveOn.org at the very time that that group was, in its fundraising solicitations, raising money to attack DeLay. The relevant Texas rule is that a judge must recuse himself in any matter where his “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”
DeLay’s lawyers have also filed a 24-page brief in support of their motion to dismiss Earle’s second indictment. (It appears to be a foregone conclusion that the first indictment, alleging conspiracy, will be dismissed.) The brief sets out multiple grounds for dismissing the second indictment, several of which appear, on their face, to be persuasive.
UPDATE: The New York Times’ report on today’s court hearing is here. The Times suggests that Judge Perkins reacted negatively to DeLay’s recusal motion, but Perkins did recuse himself under very similar circumstances, when Earle brought a laughable prosecution against Kay Hutchison just after she was elected to the Senate. In that case, Earle suffered the ultimate humiliation for a prosecutor: he got as far as the courthouse steps, and then had to tell the judge that he was unable to go forward, and the case was dismissed.
ONE MORE: Reader Jerry Huling offers a “slight correction”:
The judge did not dismiss the Hutchinson case. Judge Onion directed a verdict of “not guilty.”