Prosecutor subpoenas DeLay phone records
AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas prosecutor on Thursday subpoenaed the phone records for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s home and campaign during the period he is accused of conspiring to launder illegal corporate donations to candidates.Also subpoenaed by prosecutor Ronnie Earle were records for two phone numbers for DeLay’s daughter, Danielle DeLay Ferro, and for a minivan that Earle alleged DeLay bought.DeLay is facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy in a Texas campaign finance case.The subpoenas list telephone numbers, but not whom they belong to. They ask for information about the calls and the numbers’ subscribers, voice mail service, billing information, long-distance calls made from or charged to the numbers and special features.”The thing is no big deal,” said Bill White, Austin attorney for DeLay.Earle’s office declined to comment on the subpoenas. He has said the investigation is continuing.Earle is seeking the records and information from Sept. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2002, the period when a political committee founded by DeLay, Texans for a Republican Majority, was raising money for the 2002 election cycle.He also wants Toyota Motor Credit Corp. of Torrance, Calif., to turn over records on a 2004 Toyota Sienna Earle alleges was bought by DeLay. White said the minivan was leased as a campaign car in 2003, well after the fundraising for the Texas committee.DeLay denies any wrongdoing. However, he was obligated to temporarily step aside as majority leader when charged.The charges allege that corporate money was funneled to Texas legislative candidates in violation of state law.White said Earle appeared to be trying to find out what kind of contact DeLay had with two associates, Jim Ellis and John Colyandro, who also are indicted in the case.”It seems to me he should have been doing it the last three years. Now is a little late to start checking on his evidence,” White said.This is not the first time a subpoena has been issued involving DeLay’s daughter, a political consultant. She was subpoenaed in early 2004 to appear before a grand jury and bring records of work she did for TRMPAC.Calls to one number for Ferro seeking comment went to voice mail. A man who answered a second number for her declined comment.