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DeLay seeks to split charges, quick trial on one

[JURIST] US House Rep. Tom DeLay [official website; JURIST news archive] has asked the judge in his case to split the remaining two charges against him and move forward with a trial on one of them. After the judge in the case, Pat Priest [profile], threw out one conspiracy charge [JURIST report; JURIST document] against DeLay on Monday, only charges of money laundering [JURIST report] and conspiracy to commit money laundering remain. DeLay requested that the money laundering charge be severed and moved to trial in early January in the hope that he can regain his post as House majority leader when the House opens its session in late January. Because Priest removed some language from the conspiracy to commit money laundering charge, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle [official website] may appeal the ruling, but the charge would be moot if DeLay were acquitted on the money laundering charge. DeLay has been accused of illegally using corporate donations to fund candidates for the Texas state legislature in a heated 2002 campaign, but DeLay has accused Earle of prosecutorial misconduct in the case. AP has more.

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