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DeLay Doubles His Defense

Tom DeLay (R-TX) has hired another lawyer to defend him as an ethics committee investigation looms. Bennett Roth and Michael Hedges of the Houston Chronicle report that DeLay has enlisted Richard Cullen, a former state attorney general in Virginia who served as chief counsel to former Sen. Paul Trible, R-Va., when the lawmaker was a member of the House-Senate select committee looking into the Iran-Contra scandal in the 1980s.

Busy morning...

This morning we launched a petition campaign to call on Speaker Hastert to appoint a special counsel to investigate Tom DeLay. In America, you can't buy a jury. It's illegal. But DeLay, though his PAC, has given money to 225 or the 232 GOP members. We can't get an impartial ethics committee from that jury pool. Congress can't police itself.

The expenses charged to lobbyists' credit cards

Gebe Martinez and Michael Hedges of the Houston Chronicle take a look at the actual expenses charged to the credit cards of two DeLay-friendly lobbyists:

• Business Class tickets for DeLay and his wife to London on Continental Airlines and British Airways: $6,938.70
• Golfing fees at St. Andrews: $5,000 per golfer, including DeLay.
• Deluxe room at the London Four Seasons Hotel: $790 a night for four nights.

Absolute malarkey

Can you believe this guy?

But in an interview with The Washington Times, published Thursday, DeLay charged that Democrats had shut down the panel to prevent him from clearing his name.

"The only way I can be cleared is through the ethics committee," he said, "so they don't want one."

Ron Reagan blogs about DeLay

Ron Reagan, son of the late president, blogged about his show (on which I appeared today). He was an ally.

Congressional Ethics Coalition sends a letter to Hastert and Pelosi

We signed on to this letter (PDF) to House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) urging that they initiate an ethics inquiry into the stories from this past week involving travel expenses paid for by registered lobbyists and registered foreign agents.

More trouble for DeLay: Subpoenaed emails put him in the middle

From the New York Times:

Documents subpoenaed from an indicted fund-raiser for Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, suggest that Mr. DeLay was more actively involved than previously known in gathering corporate donations for a political committee that is the focus of a grand-jury investigation in Texas, his home state.

NYT on civil trail and DeLay's warts

DeLay is in the New York Times today, too. Here are a fun few paragraphs about the criminal investigation led by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle:

Early coverage of today's civil trial

Reuters on

Also making today's wire story (read down) was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calling for an ethics investigation of DeLay for accepting travel paid for by a lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. (There's that name again.)

Tell Craddick to drop efforts to stop Ronnie Earle's investigation

We launched a petition drive yesterday calling on Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick to drop any efforts to cover up or halt the investigation into the DeLay-related corporate fundraising scandal in Texas. Go sign, repost on your blog, or email it to your friends. Or all of the above.

As of this morning, more than 3,300 people have signed. Help keep up the momentum!