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Tom DeLay's Troubles

This is a partial transcript of "The Big Story With John Gibson," October 5, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

JOHN GIBSON, HOST: We already know there are two grand juries charging Texas Congressman Tom DeLay (search) with conspiracy and/or money laundering. Now there are reports that, in between the two, there was another grand jury that reportedly declined to indict DeLay.

I'm joined now by Congressman DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin.

Dick, it's good to see you.

DICK DEGUERIN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR TOM DELAY: Thank you, John.

GIBSON: So, this stuff is coming out about what Ronnie Earle was doing. And it sounds like — that's the prosecutor in Travis County — Ronnie Earle (search) had three grand juries operating at once on Congressman DeLay.

He got an indictment out of the first. That one appeared to be flawed. And then — do I have this straight? Was there a second one that refused to indict him before the third one did indict him?

DEGUERIN: That's right. And it was serially.

He presented the indictments first to the grand jury that indicted him and went out of business on Wednesday the 28th. Then, when, apparently, he realized that he had indicted for a crime that wasn't even on the books, he rushed before a grand jury Friday on the last day of their term, and that grand jury went into session and voted not to indict Tom DeLay. Here's the no bill right here.

And faced with that, he went into yet a third grand jury on Monday, a grand jury, by the way, that had just been sworn in, didn't know what their duties were, brand new people, new to the job. It would be like going before the Supreme Court with Chief Justice Roberts on his first day and asking him to decide the most important case on the docket.

GIBSON: So, if I can just get this straight, grand jury number one indicts him. They go out of business. Grand jury number two is on its last day of business, are asked to indict him and they say no. They move on to grand jury number three. Did you say they had just started?

DEGUERIN: Grand jury number three just started Monday morning at noon.

GIBSON: OK. All right.

DEGUERIN: They had just been sworn in.

GIBSON: All right, now, but just so everybody knows, we called prosecutor Ronnie Earle's office, he has not responded to our calls, doesn't want to come on, evidently. The invitation is open.

Dick, what does this say to you about what the prosecutor is doing? I mean, I have heard of judge shopping, but I have never heard of grand jury shopping. Is that what this amounts to?

DEGUERIN: Well, yes. It's obvious.

And, actually, the first grand jury was apparently presented the money laundering theory and refused to indict on that also. So, probably, we have two refusals by two grand juries to indict on the theory that was presented to the third grand jury. What it shows is that he is just looking for a favorable grand jury, one that he can get to indict.

Now, most district attorney's offices have policies that if one grand jury says no, then you don't send it to another grand jury unless there's new evidence.

GIBSON: Well, there's a point. He said evidence came up over the weekend. Congressman DeLay was out answering questions over the weekend. Did he say something to get himself in further trouble?

DEGUERIN: No.

GIBSON: That's it, no, flat no?

DEGUERIN: No, there's nothing that he said, absolutely not. He didn't say anything that would have indicated any new evidence. And there was no new evidence. The only thing that happened is that Texas won their football game.

(LAUGHTER)

GIBSON: All right, Dick DeGuerin, Tom DeLay's lawyer, a longtime Texas lawyer. And I have been covering stories involving Dick for many years.

Good to see you again, Dick. Thanks.

DEGUERIN: Thank you, John.

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