The alleged money laundering that has become a modus operandi for the Republican culture of corruption is becoming increasingly well-known. At the center of the alleged money laundering is the ring-leader and recently indicted Tom DeLay, the creater and owner of a Political Action Committee called TRMPAC, which was also indicted in the ever-widening criminal scandal in Texas.
In Texas the law is clear: it is illegal to take corporate money and use it for elections. In an alleged money laundering scheme, Tom DeLay’s PAC took corporate money, sent it to the RNC, who cut checks back to individual canditdates in Texas.
Even though the money went through the RNC, it is still corporate money in violation of Texas law. The sham transaction that was funneled through the RNC was merely a guise to hide the source of the corporate funds and evade Texas law.
DeLay met for at least 30 minutes with his top TRMPAC fundraiser, the also-indicted Jim Ellis, in early October of 2002 –the same day that the RNC in Washington set in motion a series of financial transactions at the heart of the case against DeLay and TRMPAC.
Ellis had earlier given the RNC a check for $190,000 drawn mostly from corporate contributions. The same day as the meeting, the RNC ordered $190,000 worth of checks sent to seven Republican legislative candidates in Texas.
All of this will become more clear as the trial of Tom DeLay and TRMPAC proceeds or if he cops a plea. The lingering question is that when you launder money, the entity you are funneling it through is guilty of money laundering as well. Why hasn’t the Republican National Committee itself been indicted?
The prosecutor who brought the indictment, Ronnie Earle, has not described the evidence he presented to the grand jury linking DeLay to the $190,000 transactions. But the fact that DeLay and his alleged co-conspirator, fundraiser Ellis, conferred on the same day the checks were ordered has attracted speculation that the two men shared information at the heart of the conspiracy on that day.
The indictment alleges that Ellis “did request and propose” on that day that an arm of the RNC make the payments to Texas Republicans once it had received the check from Texas. The next day, it is alleged that Ellis delivered the check to the Republican National State Elections Committee, an arm of the RNC, and also provided it “with a document that contained the names of several candidates.” He also “requested and proposed” how much each candidate should receive, the indictment said.
According to documents disclosed earlier this year in a civil trial related to the same transactions, a staff member for ex-RNC Chairman Marc Racicot requested that checks be sent to the Texas Republicans. The next day, Racicot appeared at a series of fundraisers in Texas, organized by TRMPAC, including a dinner with Governor Rick Perry, a DeLay ally. With the approval of the RNC’s lawyers and political directors, the checks were written and sent to Texas shortly thereafter.
Since the RNC is not above the law any more than Congressman Tom DeLay is, one has to wonder about their position regarding the upcoming criminal investigation and trial. The RNC as an entity appears to be connected to and an active participant in the same conspiracy and money laundering crimes that Tom Delay has been indicted for.