This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," October 20, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. Texas Congressman Tom DeLay (search) was booked today on state conspiracy and money laundering charges. DeLay will resigned his post as majority leader after his indictment posted $10,000 bail and will appear in court tomorrow for an arraignment hearing. A short time ago Sean spoke with one of DeLay's co-defendants, the former executive director for Texans for a Republican Majority (search), John Colyandro.
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: John, welcome to the program. Thanks for being with us.
JOHN COLYANDRO, TEXANS FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY: Thank you for having me.
HANNITY: Let's talk about the specificity of the charges you've now actually gone through two particular indictments two times. Explain what's happening to you?
COLYANDRO: Actually, Sean, it's — Jim Ellis (search) and I have been indicted on five separate occasions. The central allegation against us is money laundering predicated on an illegal contribution that we made to the Republican National Committee (search).
HANNITY: Let's talk specifically, now your attorney said that there are part of the state election statute is unclear, infringes on your free speech rights. He's says it's vague, it's overbroad and that Colorado's money laundering indictment — explain what it has to do with the $190,000 check because it was mentioned in the original indictment against Tom DeLay.
COLYANDRO: The question regarding the $109,000 contribution we made was simply this, that we raised corporate contributions legally in the state of Texas and then we made a legal contribution to the Republican National Committee in September of 2002. On that basis alone the district attorney in Travis County (search) alleged we've committed an act of money laundering.
HANNITY: Well explain — what they're saying is that you cannot have or accept a corporate political contribution, send it to the party in Washington and then bring it back to state candidates. But in fact that's not true, is it?
COLYANDRO: This district attorney is wrong on the law and the facts. The bill of indictments handed up against Mr. Ellis, Mr. DeLay, and myself, are predicated on an imagined theory of activities, No. 1, but No. 2, the law itself that he's indicted us under doesn't even apply in this particular case.
HANNITY: Well, this is one of the things that's come out in the Tom DeLay case. Now, we're going to get into Ronnie Earle (search) here in a second, here. But where is the evidence there was any type of conspiracy and there was no specific specificity to the conspiracy allegation, which was the original one that was brought against Tom DeLay? What is the conspiracy, what is he specifically talking about, a conspiracy in what way?
COLYANDRO: His claim is that we conspired to violate the state money laundering statutes, but of course that did not happen. And as you've pointed out, the bill of indictments itself lacks any type of specificity and in fact last week in the court of law when our attorneys asked the district attorney to produce what they claim to be evidence, they could not do so. And that's a very significant development in this case.
HANNITY: But they're saying this check was sent to the Republican National Committee and then back down the line, if you will, to seven republican House candidates in the 2002 election cycle and would violate state election laws of the state of Texas. A, is that right on the fact because that's what they're claiming, and is it right on the law? Those are the two specific questions here.
COLYANDRO: As to the factual matter, no, that is not correct.
HANNITY: What did happen, then?
COLYANDRO: We made a contribution to the Republican National State Elections Committee (search) and at that point they received the money and expended it as they saw fit. Separately, the Republican National State Elections Committee supported republican candidates, not only running for state house of representatives, but for statewide office and in fact in the 2002 election cycle, they contributed over $230,000 to state house candidates, $1.3 million to statewide candidates, and expended over $3 million in total in that election cycle. So...
HANNITY: So you're saying — hang on. This is important, because you're saying there's no quid pro quo, that when you gave this money to the Republican National Commission, there was no wink and a nod this money is going to come back to state candidates to basically circumvent the state laws, and you're also claiming that with specificity you have of evidence the democrats sent money to the Democratic Party and that money came back to democratic candidates, but the law is not being applied equally?
COLYANDRO: The Republican National States Elections Committee has an entire staff dedicated to evaluating and determining which races they will be engaged in. That decision-making process took place in Washington, D.C. and independent of our activities.
HANNITY: And there will be no evidence, no correspondence, no email that shows, that hey, we're going to send you this money but you have to send it back to our candidates, there will be no evidence whatsoever?
COLYANDRO: We have asked the district attorney's office to produce by way of discovery evidence that they claim under Penzi's indictments and thus far they gave provided no evidence that in fact what they allege took place. And to your point about other organizations on both sides of the political aisle engaging in similar activities, followthemoney.org has documented same-day dollar-for-dollar transactions by democrat organizations and republican organizations across this country for more than a decade, and yet this district attorney has singled out Tom DeLay and Texans for a Republican Majority for an allegation of money laundering.
HANNITY: All right, is there — we now know Ronnie Earle spoke at this democratic fundraiser and know his comments about DeLay and know his past history of seemingly wanting to go after some political opponents here. Are you saying and claiming Ronnie Earle is doing this for political motivations because of his ties to the Democratic Party?
COLYANDRO: I am saying two things. First of all, that he is a partisan elected official and he is doing it for political purposes. And the chief political purpose here is to deny Tom DeLay his leadership position in the United States Congress. Additionally, this district attorney has a personal agenda, which he has revealed in article after article, which is he thinks that corporate money ought to be banned in the political process. But it is not the job of the district attorney to change the law, it's his job to enforce the law.
HANNITY: But in fact, he also, as part of a plea bargain in a broader sense, some of the corporate money that came in when these corporations were brought into the potential — were indicted in the case, correct me if I'm wrong, they were told to donate money to a specific charity of his liking so that they would be dropped?
COLYANDRO: In published reports, representatives from Sears and Roebuck (search), one of the companies that had been indicted, claimed that he specifically requested that in return for dropping indictments against them that they would need to contribute money to a pet political project. That in fact happened and Congressman Louie Gomer (search), who use to serve on the bench in the state of Texas, labeled that activity "extortion" under Texas law.
HANNITY: All right, John, last question here. What is the latest in terms of if you believe Ronnie Earle is guilty of, basically, criminalizing politics to this extent or using his position and abusing power, which is sort of what you're saying here, are you going to aggressively seek out his emails, perhaps maybe do you suggest or think that maybe he has some connection to high profile democrats or other high-ranking officials? Do you think there's any kind of conspiracy and will you ask the court to allow to you check his email, his phone records? I know there's been steps made in this direction already.
COLYANDRO: The first step from our standpoint is two days ago we filed a motion stating that this case ought to be dismissed on the basis of outrageous governmental conduct. And that is the first step in a long line of trying to get to the heart of his activities, who he's affiliated with and who he has interacted with through the course of this investigation.
HANNITY: And who do you suspect?
COLYANDRO: Well, that's difficult for me to say and would be unfair for me to speculate. But there are significant relationships here between George Soros (search), other public interest groups in the state of Texas and political activists and not to fail to mention, even former congressman, Martin Frost.
HANNITY: It will be interesting to see these developments unfold, here. We appreciate your time tonight and thanks for being with us. John Colyandro, thank you.
COLYANDRO: Thank you.
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