What Is DeLay Guilty Of?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Madeline, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. Madeline
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    Madeline BANNED

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    Tom DeLay convicted of money laundering | cleveland.com

    IYO, is this a fair description of the charges and evidence in this case? If so, I have a question:

    How can anyone be guilty of a crime when the government does not prove intent?

    I have another question:

    Why are Texas legislators so cheap? You couldn't elect a Cuyahoga County dogcatcher for $27,000 a head.

    And lastly:

    What do you think is a fair sentence for DeLay? To me, it seems as if the redistricting he directed should be unwound, and he himself should get probation.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    The answers to your questions in order:

    1. This article is giving the defense's side of the story. Of course Delay's attorneys claim the evidence did not prove the case. 90% of people in prison in this country are innocent, you know. The jury thought otherwise, obviously. But it's a nice little foreshadowing of the contents of the appellate petition, which is most likely just receiving its final touches.

    2. Money laundering is a crime of intent, yes. Not all crimes are, manslaughter and statutory rape come to mind. But facts aren't reviewed de novo, so it will be interesting to see how they take up intent as a matter of law on appeal. Targeting the jury instructions is my guess. But it's the defense attorneys' assertion that the government did not prove intent, remember. The jury again seems to have disagreed.

    3. Got me. Then again, $27k was only the amount of the traceable corporate contributions linked to this particular case. I'm sure Uncle Joe and Neighbor Bob were pitching in too. ;)

    4. For money laundering? Probation is out. I'm betting 5-7 in minimum security with release at 2-3. He may or may not choose to ask for his sentence to be stayed pending appeal.

    And a side note: The redistricting issue is a Federal matter and a separate transaction from the money laundering, which was prosecuted under State law. The only connection between the Delay case and the redistricting is the fact that the contributions helped people win seats who then participated in the redistricting.
     
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  3. Madeline
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    Okay, setting aside the intentless crimes, if DeLay only lent his name to the PAC and never became aware of its operations, where's the proof? Is this a willful ignorance type case?

    Two to three years, eh? Man, you are harsh, goldcatt.

    This is when I miss Court TV....remember when you could watch a trial gavel to gavel, if you chose?

    I'm not nosey enough to send away for a transcript. I was kinda sorta thinking mebbe someone who read elsewhere on this case would know what the proof of intent was. Sounds as if you think the jury likely believed DeLay knew more'n he admitted.....not uncommon.
     
  4. Defiant1
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    Defiant1 Gold Member

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    I predict Delay will get probation.

    They are waiting to get him at his next trial.

    I hear he's been indicted for wearing white after Labor Day and they have him dead to rights.
     
  5. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    If Delay was a truly silent partner he wouldn't have also been a rainmaker, Maddy. You know how it works, you can't be a silent partner and involved in daily business at the same time. ;)

    2-3 of actual time is harsh? Conspiracy to commit money laundering is a felony offense, and this is a public corruption case. The sentencing guidelines allow for life. Now THAT would be harsh. 5 is the mandatory minimum if he's given jail time, IMO 2-3 of actual time served is fair. Probation would be political.

    I haven't seen the transcript either of course, but relying on the defense attorneys to give you the whole story while they're being paid to represent the guy is crazy. :lol: Let the appeals court sort it out.
     
  6. Madeline
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    I ain't defending the man, goldcatt. (Reading the appellate briefs might could be fun; I wonder if I can get those online?) I was just curious because the local paper reported as if no evidence of intent was adduced at trial.

    Also because damned near every PAC in the US engages in this "money swap" conduct -- or did before Citizens United made such pretense unnecessary -- and it seems like a strange application of the money laundering laws. But I ain't a criminal lawyer, and doubtless the charges at least fit the facts.

    Be nice to read some accurate reporting once in awhile, yanno?
     
  7. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    Actually Citizens United has no bearing on this case. It still doesn't allow for corporate contributions direct to candidates, only "speech" rights for the corps to use their money to advertise on their own behalf.

    The initial contributions to the PAC were never illegal. I haven't seen and pored through the forensic accounting for the details, but the problem here is the traceable direct transfer of the funds through the RNC and to the candidates' campaign funds. It was an end run around the ban in order to attempt to disguise the source of the funds, which is what makes it money laundering.

    And remember, Delay isn't convicted of money laundering, but of being part of the conspiracy to commit the money laundering. It was never the government's job to prove he did it all by himself, only that he assisted in the transaction.

    I do find it interesting that his initial defense was that the money never went to the candidates, and now it's that he was a silent partner with no knowledge of the operations. When they change their stories it usually indicates they got busted fair and square. ;)

    Yeah, it would be nice to have more and better facts rather than this one-sided garbage. But that's the press these days. If you read enough different accounts with a critical eye you can usually glean what few facts are out there from all the opinion and spin.

    ETA: I'm not sure about access to TX appellate briefs, whether it's pay to play or if it will be publicly available online. I'm not familiar with their system, my work was in PACER. I'm sure somebody will get their hands on a copy and disseminate it though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2010
  8. Madeline
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    O, yes. Again, I am not defending DeLay -- dun know him, dun care -- but the transactions described were fairly commonplace, goldcatt. Must be many a politican hoping the clock runs out on his "adventures", not to mention more'n a few campaign managers, etc.

    I guess I dun fully understand Citizens United. I had thought it meant the PACs (and corporations, grassroots groups, etc.) could pay for ads in favor of candidates -- or slamming their opponents -- directly, without the doesy doh of reporting to the FEC, etc.

    BTW, wasn't DeLay convicted in federal court?
     
  9. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    The problems here is the TX law, Maddy. In Texas, corporate money is prohibited from going into Candidates' campaigns. It's a state law. Which is why Delay was tried in State court.

    Corporate money can be spent as soft money. If the PAC or the RNC had kept that money and spent it themselves on behalf of their candidates, there wouldn't have been a problem. The problem came in when the money was given directly to the candidates' campaigns. Whether that money passed through no hands or fifteen, it was still money from corporations and Texas law still prohibited it from going to the candidates directly. As far as I know, it still does.

    Like I said, I haven't seen all the forensic accounting but that corporate money would have to have been traceable. The jury saw that evidence and voted to convict. That's how the system is designed to work.

    I have a lot of issues with Citizens United because it makes the assumption that not only is money speech, but that the corporate entity is more than just a legal fiction and is entitled to the same speech protections as individuals when it comes to individual rights. There were tons of monster threads on that when the decision came down, I'm not going to rehash that argument again here.

    BUT the right involved is the "speech" right of the corporate entity, not of the candidate. As a result the corporations are allowed to spend unlimited amounts of money in political protected speech on their own behalf. They can run all the ads themselves they want. But the candidates still do not have a right to receive that money from them, the corporations only have the right to "speak" on their own behalf. Therefore laws like the ones in Texas banning corporate contributions directly to candidates' campaigns are not affected by the ruling.

    I know you're not defending the guy, but there's a lot of misinformation out there as far as what actually happened here and what it means. It'd be a good thing to try to clear that up. ;)
     
  10. goldcatt
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    goldcatt Catch me if you can! Supporting Member

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    And no, Delay was tried and convicted in State court, in Austin I believe. The Feds had investigated him for illegal contributions tied to Abramoff back in 2004-05, but never prosecuted.
     

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