|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Arrest warrant issued for DeLay
Oct 19, 4:40 PM (ET)
HOUSTON (Reuters) - An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday and bail set at $10,000 for former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay ahead of his scheduled court appearance this week in Austin, Texas for money laundering and conspiracy charges, a Texas court clerk said.
The so-called "capias" was a "purely procedural event" but would require DeLay to turn himself into authorities to be fingerprinted and photographed, Travis County Grand Jury Clerk Linda Estrada said.
Court officials said DeLay was expected to go to Fort Bend County jail in his district near Houston for booking, but that had not been confirmed.
"To any sheriff or peace officer of the state of Texas, greetings, you are hereby commanded to arrest Thomas Dale DeLay and keep him safely so that you have him before the 331st Judicial District Court of Travis County," the warrant said.
DeLay has been charged with conspiracy and money laundering in a campaign finance scheme tied to his political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority.
He has denied any wrongdoing, but is accused of laundering $190,000 in corporate campaign contributions through the Republican National Committee for distribution to Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature in 2002.
Texas law forbids the use of corporate money in political campaigns.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday before state District Judge Bob Perkins.
Neither a DeLay spokesman nor his lawyer was immediately available for comment.
DeLay will likely be booked this week
AUSTIN, Texas - Rep. Tom DeLay will likely be booked in a Texas county jail this week despite attempts by his attorneys to bypass the fingerprinting and mug shot process.
The former House majority leader was forced to step down from the post last month when he was indicted by a Texas grand jury. DeLay initially was charged with conspiracy to violate the election code and days later was indicted on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money in an alleged illegal scheme to funnel corporate money to Republican Texas legislative candidates.
DeLay's arraignment is set for Friday before state district Judge Bob Perkins in Travis County, Texas.
"Perkins believes that if God was charged with a felony, he would have to go through the booking process, too," said D'Ann Underwood, court coordinator for the judge.
Before Friday, DeLay, a Republican from Sugar Land, Texas, will likely spend about an hour being fingerprinted and photographed, she said. He'll also be required to state his attorneys for the record.
Travis County allows some defendants to do a "walkthrough" booking process, in which the defendant is photographed and fingerprinted. But DeLay's bond amount would be preset so he could immediately pay it and avoid a stay in jail.
DeLay also could waive going before a magistrate to have his rights and charges read to him.
At Friday's court appearance, Perkins has the discretion to rule on motions to dismiss the charges, as requested by defense attorneys, but may elect to do so at a later date. The hearing will likely take less than 20 minutes, Underwood said.
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