The Los Angeles Times released a story today entitled "Deals Reached in Texas Political Donation Inquiry." The Times reports that two of the companies accused of making the illegal political contributions, Sears Roebuck, Co. and DCS Inc., have "flipped" and are now cooperating with Travis County investigators. Both companies said that:
"...the contributions were given 'on the basis of false and misleading information provided by the fundraiser that solicited the contribution.'"
The story's source was quoted as saying that deals are in the works for some of the remaining six companies who were also indicted last year.
It is becoming more and more evident that the case against those indicted, and those not yet indicted, is mounting. Prosecutors are getting closer and closer to those higher up on the political food chain.
"The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said information gleaned from the companies could be used as leverage to pressure remaining defendants and, potentially, to target more powerful members of the Republican Party in Texas and in Washington.
"Prosecutors and grand juries in Travis County, which includes Austin, the capital, for two years have been conducting a criminal investigation of organizations run by Republican activists. At least one of the groups has ties to U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Republican from Sugar Land, southwest of Houston."
Prosecutors in Travis County are building a case, with the newly found cooperation of some of the corporations, to press those already indicted to turn on those who gave them their marching orders probably in exchange for leniency.
"One legal source with knowledge of the investigation said the agreements with the companies could help target 'big fish' in the Republican Party by persuading the three DeLay aides to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for leniency or dismissal of their cases. The aides face 10-year prison sentences if convicted.
'If you are looking at 10 … years in jail, are you going to take the hit for Tom DeLay?' the source asked."