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October 19, 2005

The Law’s Delay…
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:54 PM * 44 comments

Arrest warrant issued for DeLay

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas court issued a warrant Wednesday for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to appear for booking, where he is likely to face the fingerprinting and photo mug shot he had hoped to avoid.

This, Rove’s woes … looks like its time for the rats to start packing. The ship is going down.

Comments on The Law's Delay...:
#1 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 04:48 PM:

I wonder what Delay looks like in orange....

#2 ::: JonathanMoeller ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 04:55 PM:

I wonder if he'll make his last speech from atop a tall black tower, wearing white robes and clutching a staff, and screaming that his prosecutors' families drink in the reek, and that their brats roll on the floor with the dogs.

#3 ::: Karl Kindred ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 04:57 PM:

I don't want the rats to pack, I want them led out in handcuffs.

I agree with the sentiment from the Rove thread; if sexual impropriety is an impeachable offense, isn't knowingly aiding in the cover-up of a federal crime significantly worse?

Apparently felonious is the new conservative.

#4 ::: Janice in GA ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 05:04 PM:

I actually thought that "insolence of office" might be more appropriate. Or rather, insolence of office-holder.

#5 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 05:14 PM:

DeLay's the type to trash the village on the way out of town. K Street, beware!

(On the other hand, it could stand a good cleansing. When the lobbyists are writing the bills...)

#6 ::: Fiendish Writer ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 05:28 PM:

Oh what wondrous news, like a summer sun breaking through the grim clouds of winter! I am cheered by this report, good sir.

#7 ::: Alex ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 06:26 PM:

*sniff* This brings happy tears to my eyes!

#8 ::: Meredith ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 08:06 PM:

Ah, but the bail is insultingly low: $10k. I'm sure he'll pre-post it and not even have to go back to Texas.

I'm not daring to be optimistic. After all, Ken Lay is still a free man. I don't doubt for a moment that DeLay, Rove, Cheney and the rest will be able to buy their continued freedom as well.

#9 ::: michael weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2005, 10:18 PM:

Heh. Print it off for your scrapbook:

The Warrant Hisself

#10 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:38 AM:

I think some of you (the giddy with delight ones) are way too optimistic. I think Meredith probably has it right. Damn.

#11 ::: mythago ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 03:44 AM:

Ken Lay is a free man because the prosecutors are being very, very careful in building their case against him. They don't want to screw it up and they are flipping the subordinates, one by one. (Remember what happened to the Fastows?)

I wonder if he'll make his last speech from atop a tall black tower, wearing white robes and clutching a staff, and screaming that his prosecutors' families drink in the reek, and that their brats roll on the floor with the dogs.

Surely we have a video editor who can make it so.

#12 ::: amysue ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 09:24 AM:

While the proverbial prodigal chickens returning home (to...oh forget it-I lost the mixed metaphor) brings me joy, I am way too cynical to believe that Delay, Rove, Cheney et al will ever pay for their sins. And don't misunderstand me, they are sins, and they will hide behind their so called Christianity and wiggle away or something. Yeah, well screw eloquent-they've led us down a path we may not recover from and our children and grandchildren will possibly be living in the dystopia they created.

Still, a girl can hope and I'm hoping they go down and take the rest of the rats with 'em.

#13 ::: Michael Turyn ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 09:50 AM:

I'm afraid I'm with the pessimists here; to crib a line from livejournal's "contrafrutexus":

[...] our society (in a PhilDickian mode, I would add, "...the structure of Reality itself,") is in fact designed such that G.W.B. will never, ever, pay for his missteps, failings, and outright crimes.
---I think the same applies to some extent to those immediately around him. But maybe supervillains are vulnerable to making it seem unsafe to be a low-level henchman---Dr Evil spends less time plotting, more time grumbling about taking out the trash and never doing it, maybe he eventually gets caught in some sort of dirty work he would have preferred to have left to a minion.

#14 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 10:12 AM:

A cynic to the end...as giddy as the thought of any/all of these going down is, I fear that not only will they wiggle away, but that the Democrats will fail to even manage serious gains in the wake.

I still sit in slightly terrified anticipation of who runs for 2008. Hillary is, I think, unelectable until at least 2012 (and by 2020 Chelsea might be ready and a better bet). Biden is as usual a wet fish. Obama isn't ready. Who else is there?

#15 ::: amysue ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 10:27 AM:

Here's a question..everyone believes (probably correctly) that Hillary is unelectable, but what are folks thoughts on what type of presidency she'd offer us?

#16 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 10:32 AM:

For 2008, how about Barbara Mikulski? With Obama as Veep?


#17 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 11:15 AM:

For this one day, let's put aside our realism, our cynicism, even our knowledge of how politics work inside the Beltway. Today is a day for revelry! Ding, Dong, the long Delay is over!!!

Tomorrow we can go back to snarling. We'll need to. But let's have this one day to crow.

amysue, Hillary, with Bill as First Lord? (OK, OK, First Gentleman.) Why should it be any different than Bill with Hill as First Lady?

#18 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 11:33 AM:

Xopher, being booked is far different from being convicted, and being convicted isn't the same thing as being jailed, etc.

Consider Poindexter, who not only got a stinking Presidential pardon, but the the Schmuck reappointed him, however briefly, back into the US Government. Talk about hubris and spiteful, vindictive, offensive, morally and ethically reprehensical evil actions... I fear that even if this Humptedy-Dumpted-from-Hell regime falls, some utter ASSHOLE will pardon the stinking malevolent hellspawn scum...

#19 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:05 PM:

Paula, I think you'd better sit down and have a glass of water. Take deep breaths.

Your feelings do you credit, but remember what the doctor said about your heart. :-)

#20 ::: dave ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:06 PM:

How graven in stone is the Presidential Pardon? Is it possible for a future president (obviously not a Republican one) to say "No act or actor should be above or beyond the Rule Of Law" and strike it from the rulebook?

Otherwise, it just seems like an inducement to engage in criminal activity on behalf of (or with the consent of) El Presidente with a Get Out Of Jail Free card at the end of it.

#21 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:08 PM:

Xopher's right: If we don't celebrate the small victories along the way, we become grim and don't have the energy to keep fighting. Booked isn't convicted, and convicted isn't punished, but booked is more than he was two days ago.

#22 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:10 PM:

With a presidential pardon, you can be pardoned without ever having been tried, or even charged with a crime. Remember, Ford pardoned Nixon after the resignation.

#23 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:12 PM:

P J, do you know how specific the Pardon has to be? Must it list the crimes the inidvidual's being pardoned for? If not, how are its limits indicated?

#24 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:19 PM:

Aconite: I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. Personally, I would think that it should say what's being pardoned, but, given the Nixon pardon apparently didn't say anything specific (I've never heard any specific information on what it was for), there may in fact be no requirements, other than a President who is willing to sign the thing.

#25 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:28 PM:

Lori - No, the dream ticket would be Pelosi/Obama. But, the red states ("uppity wimmin and n*****s"), and the media (at the behest of their corporate masters) would HATE them, and it'd be Al Gore all over again.

But, as Xopher said, today's not a day to gripe - it's a day to celebrate small steps in the right direction and to turn them into strides of (secular) righteousness.

#26 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:29 PM:

P J: Thanks; my skillz are less than 1337, and while I can find much on presidential pardons in general, I can't find enough about their limits to answer my question. I was feeling quite stupid.

#27 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:41 PM:

I remember Ford saying "a full, free, and absolute pardon" and something like "any and all acts he may have committed." I was a kid, but I remember that it didn't name any specific crimes or allegations of crimes.

#28 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:54 PM:

Xopher: Thank you.

#29 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 12:58 PM:

Pardon for anything he might have done?

Dear God. Whatever happened to "It is by my will and for the good of the State that the bearer has done what he has done"? As used by only the most progressive regimes in the seventeenth century.

Pardon, again?

#30 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 01:20 PM:

That sort of unspecific pardon was, if I remember the history right, almost routine at one time. The King is dead, long live the king, and pardon all the old king's servants. Just in case.

#31 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 01:23 PM:

Text of Ford's pardon of Nixon

excerpt:
As a result of certain acts or omissions occurring before his resignation from the Office of President, Richard Nixon has become liable to possible indictment and trial for offenses against the United States. Whether or not he shall be so prosecuted depends on findings of the appropriate grand jury and on the discretion of the authorized prosecutor. Should an indictment ensue, the accused shall then be entitled to a fair trial by an impartial jury, as guaranteed to every individual by the Constitution.

It is believed that a trial of Richard Nixon, if it became necessary, could not fairly begin until a year or more has elapsed. In the meantime, the tranquility to which this nation has been restored by the events of recent weeks could be irreparably lost by the prospects of bringing to trial a former President of the United States. The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.

Sounds to me like something the Shrub could issue with a clear conscience: no specifics, just something along the line of "we don't want the trouble it would cause".

(Isn't the web wonderful: ten seconds with Google!)

#32 ::: Sandy ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 01:43 PM:

Isn't that part of the Web Drinking Game? Drink every time someone says 'Google is your friend'?

As far as revoking pardons, I don't think it can be done- seems like it would fall under double jeopardy. Well, seems like it SHOULD fall under double jeopardy. . . it also seems like an ugly precedent to set. "You're free, until someone who disagrees gets into office."

#33 ::: candle ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 01:53 PM:

The prospects of such trial will cause prolonged and divisive debate over the propriety of exposing to further punishment and degradation a man who has already paid the unprecedented penalty of relinquishing the highest elective office of the United States.

So being fired from your job is to be considered sufficient punishment for breaking the law? After all, we wouldn't want criminals to suffer the degradation of being tried for their crimes...

This doesn't seem right to me. Possibly I'm not the first to say so.

#34 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 01:57 PM:

Being fired may be sufficient if you're the prez. Nixon wasn't fired; he quit first, mostly because his closest friends and advisors told him that he'd be fired if he didn't. Or so I interpret the events that week. The Shrub may have the same luxury. (I do hope that some of these people get real jail time for their misdeeds!)

#35 ::: Xopher (Christopher Hatton) ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 01:58 PM:

candle, you aren't the first, and Gerald Ford lost the Presidency as a result. And it ISN'T right - for some values of right.

I was surprised to learn that most political scientists now agree that it was good for the country, if not for Ford himself. Some even believe that that was why he did it. And he and Jimmy Carter are now good friends.

#36 ::: Laura Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 03:40 PM:

Michael Weholt's link to the arrest warrant didn't work for me, but I found it on smokinggun.com and it sure is fun to look at.

Delay's mug shot
Delay's arrest warrant

#37 ::: michael weholt ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 04:28 PM:

Michael Weholt's link to the arrest warrant didn't work for me, but I found it on smokinggun.com and it sure is fun to look at.

Yeah, the link on Pelosi's site was taken down earlier today. Too many hungry, hungry hits, I guess.

#38 ::: Paula Kate ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 10:56 PM:

I normally avoid political discussions (bad for my blood pressure) and I always avoid political prognostication because I am not very good at it; but I feel inclined to post this.

The neocons have no intention of relinquishing power. Therefore, Cheney must retire (I have expected for health reasons, but better reasons may be about to appear). Bush will appoint a successor, who will then be the annointed heir apparent (but not too soon, because Shrub does not wish to be a lame duck one second before he has to be).

So the question is, if he appoints Condi Rice, does anyone think there's a chance of impeachment when the result would be an unelected black woman becoming president?

OTOH, if that were to happen, could the Dems run Hillary and Obama against her?

#39 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 11:04 PM:

What I quoted is in fact the wording of "carte blanche" warrants, as issued by Kings of France before the Revolution. It means that the bearer is above the law, having had the King's status delegated to him, as it were. ("Le loi c'est moi", as Louis XIV remarked.)

Kings in England were not capable of that. The story is told of James II, demanding that one of his ministers ignore a court ruling on the grounds of Royal prerogative. "I am above the law," said James. (He wasn't, as it turned out, but let that slide.) "Your Majesty is so," replied the minister. "But I am not."

A general pardon, issued for any act the subject might have committed, is the same as carte blanche. Surely not even the President of the United States can outdo James II?

#40 ::: y ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2005, 11:56 PM:

Ipse autem Rex, non debet esse sub homine, sed sub Deo et Lege, quia Lex facit Regem. Attribuat igitur Rex legi, quod Lex attribuit ei, videlicet dominationem et imperium. Non est enim Rex ubi dominatur voluntas, et non Lex. -Bracton

#41 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2005, 06:21 AM:

Yeah. Bracton was also the guy who wrote that the serf could own nothing but his own belly, knowing full well that serfs were everywhere operating businesses, buying, selling, deeding, willing and inheriting property, even in his day. He was describing a sort of logical, idealised legal fiction, there. Idealised from his point of view, that is.

#42 ::: y ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2005, 09:34 AM:

The point, I suppose, is that Stuart absolutism was not merely disastrous in practice, but a pernicious innovation even in theory. There might be a lesson here for current advocates of the imperial presidency.

#43 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2005, 10:47 AM:

Shrub does not wish to be a lame duck one second before he has to be

He became a lame duck when he took the oath the second time. (IMHO, he's been one since the first time.)

#44 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: October 26, 2005, 05:07 PM:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Tom DeLay failed to comply with House requirements that he disclose all contributions to a defense fund that pays his legal bills, the Texas Republican acknowledged to House officials.

He wrote officials that $20,850 contributed in 2000 and 2001 was not reported anywhere. Another $17,300 was included in the defense fund's quarterly report but not in DeLay's 2000 annual financial disclosure report -- a separate requirement.

Other donations were understated as totaling $2,800, when the figure should have been $4,450.

It was during that period that DeLay was the subject of several House ethics investigations.

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