Carol Platt Liebau: A <i>Lot</i> Less Pure than the Driven Snow . . .

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Lot Less Pure than the Driven Snow . . .

The invaluable Byron York reports that crusading anti-DeLay prosecutor Ronnie Earle is significantly less pure than the driven snow.

As York notes, Earle "dropped felony charges against several corporations indicted in the probe in return for the corporations' agreement to make five- and six-figure contributions to one of Earle's pet causes."

Former U.S. Attorney and special counsel Joseph diGenova notes, "This is an extortionate use of the indictment power."

Indeed.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Daryn said...

If the claim against Delay is bogus, can Delay bring a malicious prosecution action against Earle? Is there some sort of legal privilege Earle maintains in pursuing a witch-hunt against his political enemies?

5:54 AM  
Blogger Draino said...

Carol, I respect your right to delete comments. It's your blog - go to town. I'm sure you'll delete this one as well but hopefully not before reading it. My comment to your prior post was supportive of said individual and nothing that hasn't been in the public domain for a long time. It was relevant given the level of leadership and pending legislation (even constitional amending) that will be effected. I find it hypocritical that you have suddenly decided to separate personal from political. Bill Clinton's personal life was fair game for Ken Starr. Ann Richards' personal life was fair game to Karl Rove and George Bush. What is different now? You and Limbaugh and the rest of your roving gang of thugs attack people all day long and suddenly you're taking the high road? You'll forgive my hesitation being convinced of your sudden conversion to Arbiter of Good Taste.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Draino said...

By the way, here's a novel idea - Maybe, just maybe, Tom DeLay actually broke the law. Nah, I guess I'm just being silly. I mean I'm sure everyone on the Texas Grand Jury was a partisan liberal just like the prosectuor, the judge, the bailiff and the stenographer.

7:22 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

Carol - you are forgetting. It was the Grand Jury not Earle that brought the indictment. I don't think that the dozen or so people who make up the Grand Jury are all Democrats, so they themselves found there was enough evidence to indict.

7:57 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

Oh...and FYI...

EARLE HAS PROSECUTED FOUR TIMES AS MANY DEMOCRATS AS REPUBLICANS: “Over Earle’s 27-year tenure, his Public Integrity Unit has prosecuted 15 elected officials, including 12 Democrats.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/15/05]

EARLE PROSECUTED DEMOCRATS AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF STATE GOVERNMENT: “Some of the Democrats prosecuted by Earle and his Public Integrity Unit are former Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis, former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox, former State Treasurer Warren Harding and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Yarbrough.” [AP, 12/12/04]

EARLE AIDES WENT ON TO RUN FOR OFFICE AS REPUBLICANS: “Some of his top assistants have been with him for decades. A few have gone on to run for elected office as Republicans.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/15/05]

FRIEND OF OFFICIAL TARGETED BY EARLE CALLED HIM A ‘BOY SCOUT’: “Democrats, for their part, are still upset over the prosecution of Attorney General Jim Mattox for bribery in 1985. … He was acquitted and years later, Jim Marston, a civil lawyer in Austin and friend of Mr. Mattox, asked Earle why he went ahead with the questionable case. “I said, ‘Ronnie, how can it be an abuse of power to threaten a lawyer? We threaten each other all the time.’ He told me that elected officials are held to a higher standard. They are supposed to be [above suspicion] like Caesar’s wife.’ It was then that Mr. Marston realized how deep Earle’s principles run. ‘Ronnie Earle is a Boy Scout who is offended by wrongdoings, chief among them, public officials’ abuse of power.’ [Christian Science Monitor, 12/03/04]

EARLE HAS REPUTATION AS PRINCIPLED, ‘OVERLY CAUTIOUS’: “Deliberate in the capital cases he sends to juries, Earle is well known for examining an issue from all angles before acting. ‘If I have any complaint about Ronnie, it’s that he is overly cautious about who he prosecutes,’ says Marston. ‘The fact that it has taken two years to investigate Tom DeLay is a sign not of partisanship, but of being completely careful.’” [Christian Science Monitor, 12/03/04]

EARLE HAS REPUTATION FOR ‘STRONG MORAL STREAK’: “[T]o those who know him, Earle has always exhibited a strong moral streak - from his formative years growing up in a small town outside Fort Worth, to his time on the Austin night court, to his political service in the state legislature. But they contend his morality is tempered by his compassion. ‘Ronnie is very principled and will do the right thing even if it isn’t the smartest political thing to do,’ says Ellen Halbert, a victim’s rights advocate.” [Christian Science Monitor, 12/03/04]

EARLE HAS REPUTATION FOR RESPECTING THE RULES: “‘One of the things I admired most about Ronnie was his indefatigable ability to go and meet with groups all over town all the time–right-wing groups, left-wing groups, the Rotary,’ says Bill Reid, an attorney who retired from Earle’s office in 1997. ‘He’s not a bloodthirsty prosecutor who wanted to get notches on his gun. There are some who have a reputation for walking close to the line in terms of evidence and rights, but there was never a push or inclination from him that we ought to bend the rules. Working for him, I was doing what I wanted to do, and I could go home and sleep at night.’” [Los Angeles Times, 5/15/05]

HOUSTON CHRONICLE: ALLEGATIONS OF PARTISANSHIP NOT SUPPORTED BY FACTS: Chronicle editorial: “The record does not support allegations that Earle is prone to partisan witch hunts.” [3/17/03]

8:00 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Carol -- if I may -- Is Delay more important than credibility?

We got it drilled into our heads, by the GOP, for *years* -- and rightly so -- that Clinton and his squad were answering charges by besmirching the accusers. This practice is a reprehensible tactic, and the right was proper in pointing this out.

The same goes here. A grand jury has indicted Delay on what I will grant is a vague and (so far evidently) wafer-thin charge. But if people start besmirching Earle as a partisan or what-not, and the evidence against Delay holds up or gets stronger, we could be forgiven for tuning out GOP defenses of a prominent GOP figure.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Carol, that's right--blame the messengers. The fish rots from the head down.

Both the President's and Vice President's chief political handlers are under Grand Jury investigation for leaking the name of an undercover CIA operative for political payback.

The Senate Majority leader is the target of formal SEC and Federal Attorney inquiries for insider trading.

The House Majority leader is indicted for conspiracy to evade election fund raising laws.

Keep blaming the messengers, right-wing pundits and bloggers. The strategy worked so well for the Democrats back in the Rostenkowski days.

7:10 PM  

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