House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
10-19-05 - 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.
Bail was initially set at $10,000 as a routine step before his first court appearance on conspiracy and money laundering charges. Travis County court officials said DeLay was ordered to appear at the Fort Bend County jail for booking.
The warrant was "a matter of routine and bond will be posted," DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin said.
The lawyer declined to say when DeLay would surrender to authorities but said the lawmaker would make his first court appearance Friday morning.
The charges against the Texas Republican stem from allegations that a DeLay-founded Texas political committee funneled corporate money into state GOP legislative races through the National Republican Party. Texas law prohibits use of corporate money to elect state candidates.
DeLay is charged with conspiracy to violate state election laws and money laundering, felony counts that triggered House Republican rules that forced him to step aside as majority leader.
Two separate indictments charge that DeLay and two political associates had the money distributed to state legislative candidates in a roundabout way _ sending it from the political action committee in Texas to the Republican National Committee in Washington and finally back to candidates' campaigns.
DeLay has denied wrongdoing.
The effort had major political consequences, first by helping Republicans take control of the Texas Legislature in the 2002 elections. The Legislature then redrew congressional boundaries according to a DeLay-inspired plan, took command of the state's U.S. House delegation and helped the GOP retain its U.S. House majority.