DeLay's defense made allegations of prosecutorial misconduct before the alleged misconduct

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The big news tonight is the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct DeLay's lawyers have levied at District Attorney Ronnie Earle and their efforts to subpoena Earle regarding these allegations. The defense lawyers say Earle mistreated jurors who didn't indict DeLay (the infamous second grand jury).

But it appears that DeLay's lawyers were claiming prosecutorial misconduct and preparing to bring charges on it before Earle even went to the second grand jury, according to this Roll Call (subscription) story from the day of the first indictment, which was sent to me by a loyal Daily DeLay reader:

Republicans also wasted little time in beginning their own campaign to discredit Earle.

DeLay’s allies privately suggested that they would seek retribution against Earle, although DeLay himself will have no role in that effort. Charges of prosecutorial misconduct may be lodged against Earle, and a public-relations effort to discredit Earle personally had already begun on Wednesday, with GOP insiders repeatedly pointing out that Earle unsuccessfully attempted to prosecute Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) in the midst of the 1994 Senate race in Texas.

“Everything will be in play,” said one high-ranking House Republican aide. “We will throw everything we can at Ronnie Earle.”

The reader also notes there is no need to seek the under oath testimony of Earle or the two anonymous jurors of the second grand jury who claim Earle got upset with them:

Grand jury proceedings are transcribed by court reporters. The judge considering Dick DeGuerin's motion and subpoena will be quite capable of finding out what went on in the grand jury room with out Ronnie Earle's testimony. The subpoena will be quashed, the motion to dismiss will be denied and that's it for Tom DeLay. He doesn't care about going to prison; he only cares about being Majority Leader and he's staked everything on this motion to dismiss. If the motion fails and he gets a trail date in February 2006, he knows he'll never be back as Majority Leader.

Like I said below, high stakes.