Former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) appeared in court Friday for the first time in a money laundering and conspiracy case against him, but his arraignment was postponed after his lawyer asked the judge, a Democrat, to recuse himself.
In a brief statement read to reporters afterward, DeLay harshly denounced the prosecutor in the case, Ronnie Earle, and predicted that he “will be absolutely exonerated.”
As DeLay sat quietly with his wife in the Travis County courtroom, Judge Bob Perkins accepted the congressman’s $10,000 bond and questioned his lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, about a recusal motion filed Thursday.
Standing before the judge, DeGuerin pointed out that Perkins had contributed to MoveOn.org, a liberal fundraising and interest group that has supported Democratic candidates. DeGuerin said he noticed Thursday that MoveOn.org was “selling T-shirts with Mr. DeLay’s mug shot on it to raise money.”
Perkins replied, “Let me just say I haven’t ever seen that T-shirt, number one. Number two, I haven’t bought it. Number three, the last time I contributed to MoveOn that I know of was prior to the November election last year when they were primarily helping Senator Kerry.”