Sunday, April 24, 2005

Who Paid for DeLay to Play St. Andrews?

The Washington Post presents a very compelling article here on who paidd for Rep. Tom DeLay's  trip in 2000 to Scotland and England. They even seem to have the documentation in that the article states,

"The documents obtained by The Washington Post, including receipts for his hotel stays in Scotland and London and billings for his golfing during the trip at the famed St. Andrews course in Scotland, substantiate for the first time that some of DeLay's expenses on the trip were billed to charge cards used by the two lobbyists."

Several interesting things here: 

1) Why is a newspaper doing the investigation as opposed to the law enforcement or others; and if others are investigating why is it taking so long - the alleged year is 2000?

2) Are we talking possible ethics violations, or could criminal charges be considered here?  18 USC 1346, the "intangible right of honest services," permits mail and wire fraud charges merely on a material, intentional, deprivation of honest services that uses an "interstate carrier," the mails, or the wires. It's an absurd statute that permits prosecutors incredible breadth to charge conduct that might normally not be considered criminal - conduct that is merely unethical.  Although, some judges have appropriately dismissed prosecutorial charges that have been premised on mere unethical behavior. 

3) The Washington Post states regarding DeLay that, "[h]e has also said he had no way of knowing that any lobbyist might have financially supported the trip, either directly or through reimbursements to the nonprofit organization." The "ignorant CEO defense"? 

4) If it had occurred in NY would Spitzer be investigating it?


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