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DeLay spokesman blasts prosecutor

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Ronnie Earle
Texas
Tom DeLay
Prosecution

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Kevin Madden, spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, released the following statement regarding the announcement Wednesday that a Texas grand jury has indicted DeLay on charges of conspiring to "knowingly make a political contribution" in violation of Texas law outlawing corporate contributions:

"These charges have no basis in the facts or the law. This is just another example of (Travis County District Attorney) Ronnie Earle misusing his office for partisan vendettas.

"Despite the clearly political agenda of this prosecutor, Congressman DeLay has cooperated with officials throughout the entire process. Even in the last two weeks, Ronnie Earle himself had acknowledged publicly that Mr. DeLay was not a target of his investigation. However, as with many of Ronnie Earle's previous partisan investigations, Ronnie Earle refused to let the facts or the law get in the way of his partisan desire to indict a political foe.

"This purely political investigation has been marked by illegal grand jury leaks, a fundraising speech by Ronnie Earle for Texas Democrats that inappropriately focused on the investigation, misuse of his office for partisan purposes, and extortion of money for Earle's pet projects from corporations in exchange for dismissing indictments he brought against them.

"Ronnie Earle's previous misuse of his office has resulted in failed prosecutions and we trust his partisan grandstanding will strike out again, as it should.

"Ronnie Earle's 1994 indictment against Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was quickly dismissed and his charges in the 1980s against former Attorney General Jim Mattox-another political foe of Earle-fell apart at trial.

"We regret the people of Texas will once again have their taxpayer dollars wasted on Ronnie Earle's pursuit of headlines and political paybacks. Ronnie Earle began this investigation in 2002, after the Democrat Party lost the Texas state legislature to Republicans.

"For three years and through numerous grand juries, Ronnie Earle has tried to manufacture charges against Republicans involved in winning those elections using arcane statutes never before utilized in a case in the state.

"This indictment is nothing more than prosecutorial retribution by a partisan Democrat."

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