The noose is getting a little tighter for Tom DeLay.
Documents subpoenaed from an indicted fund-raiser for Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, suggest that Mr. DeLay was more actively involved than previously known in gathering corporate donations for a political committee that is the focus of a grand-jury investigation in Texas, his home state.
The documents, which were entered into evidence last week in a related civil trial in Austin, the state capital, suggest that Mr. DeLay personally forwarded at least one large corporate check to the committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, and that he was in direct contact with lobbyists for some of the nation’s largest companies on the committee’s behalf.
In an August 2002 document subpoenaed from the files of the indicted fund-raiser, Warren M. RoBold, Mr. RoBold asked for a list of 10 major donors to the committee, saying that “I would then decide from response who Tom DeLay” and others should call to help the committee in seeking a “large contribution.”
Another document is a printout of a July 2002 e-mail message to Mr. RoBold from a political ally of Mr. Delay, requesting a list of corporate lobbyists who would attend a fund-raising event for the committee, adding that “DeLay will want to see a list of attendees” and that the list should be available “on the ground in Austin for T.D. upon his arrival.”
Under Texas law, corporations are barred from donating money to state political candidates. The Texas committee acknowledged receiving large corporate donations during the 2002 campaign but always insisted that the money was used for administrative costs, which is legal. [New York Times]
It’s only a matter of time before something breaks in this case, and it’s finally getting some attention – 60 Minutes picked up on the story last week. Mr. DeLay, who was in the pest control business — killing fleas and ticks — before he was elected to Congress, may soon be feeling like he’s on the business end of a ticking bomb.