My schadenfreude-o-meter goes to 11.
As convicted felon Tom DeLay prepares to find out Monday whether he will go to jail or get probation, his lawyer complained Friday that Travis County prosecutors offered immunity for testimony from two former DeLay aides who later worked for disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
“They’ve offered to give immunity to two guys who admitted they stole millions just to get testimony against Tom DeLay,” said Dick DeGuerin, DeLay’s lawyer. “They’ve destroyed Tom DeLay, and now they want to rub salt in the wound.”
In November, a Travis County jury convicted the former U.S. House majority leader on conspiracy and money laundering charges, but DeLay chose to have state District Judge Pat Priest , a senior judge from San Antonio, set the punishment. The sentencing will begin at 9 a.m. in the 250th District Court in Austin.
Gary Cobb, the lead prosecutor, confirmed Friday that immunity was offered to the two ex-aides, Michael Scanlon and Tony Rudy. Scanlon and Rudy pleaded guilty to corruption charges several years ago but are awaiting sentencing after cooperating with federal investigators, who are wrapping up their investigation of the Abramoff scandal that rocked Congress almost seven years ago.
Though it might be unlikely that Scanlon or Rudy will need protection from prosecution for anything in Texas, Cobb said a prosecutor would be willing to testify in the federal case, at the two men’s expense, about their cooperation in the DeLay proceeding. Cobb said such offers are routine.
I’m trying to write something insightful, but I keep giggling before I can form a coherent thought. If Juanita doesn’t make it back from Austin after this, I will presume she’s been assumed bodily into heaven. For those of you who need a few extra chuckles, read the letters of character and support that were sent on DeLay’s behalf. Don’t blame me if you injure yourself while reading them.