Lawfare in its various forms: the DeLay case in context

Tony Lee reviews the trials of Tom Delay

The Texas justice system convicted him on charges of money laundering
and conspiracy to launder money — despite evidence to the contrary —
and sentenced him to three years in jail and 10 years probation on
Monday. DeLay, out on bond, is appealing the conviction and sentencing.

The prosecution is tainted by politics and this particular accusation is just one of a long long series of political opponents engaging in lawfare to diminish, impugn, and eliminate effective political operatives they oppose. You can see the same phenomena in, for example, the ethics complaints against Governor Palin. As with DeLay, those complaints were harassment and only found of any merit in the most arcane or selected contexts.

Anyone can do ethics complaints. A criminal prosecution is another matter. That requires a politically driven prosecutor, which is what DeLay encountered. It is also why the US Attorney General is being asked about voter intimidation cases. The Tucson sheriff’s pronunciations take import in this context as does the many who echoed or sympathized with his opinions in various ways. As Henninnger puts it “This isn’t just political calculation. It is foundational belief.” When belief belies integrity and honesty, trouble brews.

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