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DeLay Lawyers Try to Subpoena His Prosecutor

October 12, 2005|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay's defense team tried Tuesday to serve Texas prosecutor Ronald Earle with a subpoena, but Earle refused to accept it, DeLay lawyer Dick DeGuerin said.

Alleging misconduct with grand jurors, the defense team wants to compel Earle to explain his behavior.

A state campaign finance investigation conducted by Earle led to DeLay's indictment on conspiracy and money-laundering charges. DeLay (R-Texas) was obligated by House Republican rules to step aside as House majority leader.

DeGuerin said acceptance of the subpoena was voluntary because it had not been stamped by a court official, but added that the defense team would go through the court procedure today and redeliver it. He said Earle, the district attorney for Travis County, would then be obligated to accept the subpoena but could file a motion to have it dismissed.

Earle's office said in a written statement: "Because of laws protecting grand jury secrecy, there are limitations to what we can say at this time, but we fully expect to prevail in this matter."

Earle presented evidence to three grand juries on DeLay's alleged role in funneling corporate money to Texas legislative candidates in violation of state law.

The first indicted DeLay on conspiracy charges, the second failed to indict and the third indicted him on an allegation of money laundering.

DeLay has denied any wrongdoing.

DeLay has accused Earle of pursuing the case against him for political reasons. Earle has denied any political motives.

In a motion filed last week, the defense team said that from Sept. 29 through Oct. 3, Earle and his staff "unlawfully participated in grand jury deliberations and attempted to browbeat and coerce" the grand jury that refused to indict DeLay.

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