Dammit! While I was watching that dog of a show Commander in Chief, a wondrous, marvelous thing happened:
DeLay Indicted in Campaign Finance Probe
House Majority Leader Says He Will Temporarily Step Down, But Denounces Charges As ‘Reckless’
A Texas grand jury today indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) on a criminal count of conspiring with two political associates to violate state campaign finance law, and DeLay announced he would temporarily step down as House majority leader.
DeLay later denounced the charge against him as “reckless,” and he acerbically blasted the Democratic district attorney prosecuting the case as “an unabashed partisan zealot” seeking revenge for Democratic political defeats in Texas.
… “This morning, in an act of blatant political partisanship, a rogue district attorney in Travis County, Texas, named Ronnie Earle charged me with one count of criminal conspiracy: a reckless charge wholly unsupported by the facts,” DeLay said, reading from a prepared statement. “This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history. It’s a sham and Mr. Earle knows it.”
He went on to call Earle a “partisan fanatic” who was conducting a “vengeful investigation” as part of a “coordinated, premeditated campaign of political retribution.”
… The indictment accuses DeLay of criminally conspiring to inject illegal corporate contributions into 2002 state elections that helped the Republican Party reorder the congressional map in Texas and cement its control of the House of Representatives in Washington.
I am laughing my ass off at the very idea of Tom DeLay claiming that someone else is an unabashed partisan zealot.
I’m wondering what has happened to the airtight Republican control of the government and investigators, and how light is starting to come in through the cracks.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said today that President Bush still views DeLay as a “good ally” and “a leader we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people.” McClellan added, “The president’s view is that we need to let the legal process work.”
I think that the newly embattled president will be doing this more and more, this non-commital response to his fellow travellers who get caught. After all, Bush is the guy who claimed that he barely knew Ken Lay once the indictments were handed down.