Letter to House Leaders from former GOP Members of Congress

We're helping to distribute this powerful, strongly-worded letter to Republican leaders in the House demanding that they stop acting like they're defending Tom DeLay and restore integrity to the House.

The NYT's Shenon and Stolberg pick up the story in this morning's newspaper:

Ten former members of Congress, all Republicans, joined in a letter to the House leadership on Thursday to say they believed that revisions in House ethics rules this year were an "obvious action to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay" from investigation. They said the changes needed to be reversed "to restore public confidence in the People's House."

The letter, to be presented Friday to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, is signed by Mark Andrews, a former member of both the Senate and the House from North Dakota, and nine other former House Republicans. While it offers no conclusion about the merits of ethics controversies now swirling around Mr. DeLay, it says "the consensus in our respective districts" is that "the previous admonitions to Mr. DeLay for casting discredit on the House were well-merited."

The letter may be another blow to Mr. DeLay, who is under investigation by a grand jury in his home state, Texas, and is facing growing calls from fellow Republicans to answer accusations involving his financial ties to lobbyists and his management of his political and campaign committees.

Look for more news coverage throughout the day.