AUSTIN, Texas – Attorneys for Rep. Tom DeLay asked for internal documents from the local prosecutor, hoping to show he went after the powerful Republican despite opposition from grand juries.
DeLay's attorneys asked Democratic District Attorney Ronnie Earle to provide any internal communications from his office that argued against indicting the former House majority leader.
Earle's office declined to comment on Thursday's written request from defense attorney Dick DeGuerin. The request asks for "internal notes, memoranda or documents which recommend against seeking an indictment against Tom DeLay."
The letter asks that Earle let the defense know "whether you will voluntarily produce these documents."
Delay's legal team hopes the documents will bolster their arguments that the money laundering and conspiracy charges against DeLay should be dropped.
Judge Pat Priest has scheduled a Nov. 22 conference to meet with attorneys.
DeLay was indicted on a conspiracy charge Sept. 28. A second grand jury considered the case after questions were raised about when the law on which the conspiracy charge was based went into effect, but the panel returned no indictment.
Days later, a third grand jury indicted DeLay on money-laundering charges, which carry five years to life in prison on conviction.
Earle has said he went to the third grand jury after finding new evidence.
DeGuerin contends that Earle unlawfully participated in the second grand jury's deliberations to seek another indictment, and that Earle tried to "browbeat and coerce" grand jurors into filing criminal charges.
A House rule forced DeLay to step down from his post as majority leader after he was indicted.