WASHINGTON – Texas Republican Rep. Tom DeLay (search) was booked at the Harris County sheriff's bonding office on state conspiracy and money laundering charges, FOX News confirmed Thursday.
DeLay went through a routine procedure of being photographed, fingerprinted and released on bond after appearing before a judge around 12:15 p.m. DeLay, who appeared to be smiling in the police photo, left in less than 30 minutes, said Lt. John Martin with the sheriff's department.
"He posted $10,000 bond and they have left the bonding office," Martin said.
DeLay, the former House majority leader who was forced to step down under House rules after being indicted, will make his first court appearance on Friday for an arraignment hearing. Afterward, he will hold a news conference at the Texas state capital. His attorney, Dick DeGuerin, will also address the allegations outside the courthouse.
Separately, DeGuerin dropped off several motions to dismiss the indictment, to change the venue and to urge the presiding judge, Bob Perkins, to recuse himself from the case.
"Judge Perkins made political contributions to causes and persons opposed to Tom DeLay," reads one motion. The list of contributions is two pages long. DeGuerin said Perkins has recused himself before and could do so again. If he doesn't, DeGuerin could seek an administrative decision from the bench requiring Perkins step aside.
Democrat Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle (search) released a statement opposing the motions.
"The logic behind the defendant's motion to recuse Judge Perkins would mean that no criminal defendant could be tried in a court presided over by a judge who did not belong to the defendant's political party. It would also mean that a judge who contributes to child abuse prevention could not preside over the trial of an alleged child abuser. We believe that to be neither the law nor good public policy," stated Earle in the release. "We will oppose the defendant's motion for change of venue. A fair trial can be held in Travis County."
DeLay, who was accompanied by DeGuerin on Thursday, was booked a day after a state court issued an arrest warrant for him with an initial bail set at $10,000.
Earlier reports said that DeLay was expected to be booked at Fort Bend County Jail but under Texas law he could turn himself in anywhere in the state.
Fort Bend County Chief Deputy Craig Brady told wire reporters that arrangements were being made to bring DeLay to the sheriff's office sometime Thursday for booking and fingerprinting.
Two grand juries have charged DeLay and two political associates in an alleged scheme to violate state election law, by funneling corporate donations to candidates for the Texas Legislature. State law prohibits use of corporate donations to finance state campaigns, although the money can be used for administrative expenses. DeLay has denied wrongdoing.
The indictments charge that a DeLay-founded Texas political action committee sent corporate donations to the Republican National Committee in Washington, and the national party sent funds back to the state for 2002 campaigns. DeLay argues the campaign finance charges did not constitute a crime under the law at the time they occurred.
DeLay's supporters have accused Earle, who leads the investigation, of having partisan motives. Earle has denied the accusation.
John Colyandro, the former executive director of the Texans for a Republican Majority PAC, was also indicted by the grand jury along with Jim Ellis, a co-founder and paid consultant to TRMPAC. Colyandro said Earle's seeking an indictment was a sign of his hubris
The "DeLay indictment is insidious," Colyandro said, arguing that Earle was abusing the legal system and the grand jury reached a "conclusion unsupportive by the law and facts.
"The prosecution cannot stipulate that evidence that they have ... is even factual," he said.
Earle did not ask for the arrest warrant for DeLay, but approved the court's request, his office said Wednesday. DeGuerin said Earle wanted DeLay taken down in handcuffs, fingerprinted and photographed to use for political advantage.
He wanted this "mug shot so he could put it out to Congressman DeLay's political opponents and he's got what he wanted. There is no reason for this. This is pure retaliation on the part of Ronnie Earle," DeGuerin said after DeLay left the bonding office.
DeLay's Republican fundraising in 2002 had major political consequences, allowing the GOP to take control of the Texas Legislature. The Legislature then redrew congressional boundaries according to a DeLay-inspired plan, took command of the state's U.S. House delegation and helped the GOP retain its House majority.
Fundraising for DeLay's re-election campaign reached an all-time high last quarter, before the indictment came.
FOX News' Molly Hooper and The Associated Press contributed to this report.