(From the diaries -- kos
DeLay will not plea nolo contendere at the arraingment. There will be a not guilty plea entered there, but he will eventually plea at least nolo contendere.
In about January when the hearings get started, I expect the plea to be changed to nolo contendere. This is because DeLay has most likely already entered into a plea bargain. My reasoning is because of timing and the indictment itself.
First of all, DeLay entered into a meeting with Ronnie Earle and the Public Integrity unit of the Travis County DA's office on August 17. This would be more than three years after most of the events surrounding the money laundering operation would have taken place and thus, the statute of limitations would have already run out on the conspiracy charge.
Second, look to the language in the indictment itself:
"The Grand Jury further presents that, with the advise and consent of counsel, the defendent, Thomas Dale DeLay, did heretofore knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive application of Articles 12.01 and 12.02 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure to the indictment presented herein. In particular, the Grand Jury present that with the advice and consent of counsel, the defendent, Thomas Dale DeLay, did knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive the requirement that an indictment for the felony offense of criminal conspiracy, the object of which is felony other than those listed in Subdivisions (1) and (5) of Article 12.01 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, may be presented within three years from the date of commission of the offense, and not afterward, insofar as such requirement pertains to the indictment presented herein,"
Now comes the logic part. Why would his attorney advise him to waive the statute of limitations on a charge when the statute of limitations had already run out? The only logical answer is that there were far more serious charges with a much longer (or no) statute of limitations and he was entering into a plea bargain.
So basically, the current posturing about "political prosecution" and a prosecutor who is a "partisan fanatic" is just that, posturing. Anybody old enough to remember the Nixon era will also remember that Spiro Agnew did exactly the same thing! After all is said and done, he'll leave the Congress and still have a lucrative career as a paid lobbyist.