The Times Union of Albany, NY says what I've been thinking: There is a higher standard for public officials. DeLay admitted to money laundering when he was brought to Austin by District Attorney Ronnie Earle, and now says he didn't break the law. But he knew it was happening, and whether he is convicted of the crimes or not, he's violated the standard to which we hold elected officials. Or, at least, the standard to which we should hold elected officials.
Here's an excerpt from their editorial:
The problem, for Mr. DeLay, is that such an admission goes well beyond what would make for plea-bargained misdemeanor charges. A conspiracy to launder money, in addition to a conspiracy to violate the law, is more like it, at least in the view of Mr. Earle.
And this is where the mess Mr. DeLay has gotten himself into gets especially tricky. Nothing in those discussions between Mr. DeLay and Mr. Earle last fall, revealing as they were, is in any way legally binding. Mr. DeLay wasn't even under oath when he tipped his hand. Unless Mr. Earle can collect testimony from other witnesses, and produce documented evidence, he can't press the case.
But what Mr. DeLay apparently said still is of enormous significance that extends even beyond the reach of a prosecutor's office. Congress, remember, is supposed to be held to a higher standard. Lack of an indictment or failure to obtain a conviction isn't supposed to be good enough.
Anyone so willing to admit to money laundering, and to do so for the sake of keeping his job as majority leader, of all things, shouldn't be in Congress at all. Let the facts come forward, with that much in mind.
[From Dail DeLay reader BK.]