A Texas grand jury asked Thursday for all e-mail sent and received in 2002 by three indicted associates of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay as part of an investigation into an alleged campaign finance scheme.
The latest subpoenas request correspondence to and from e-mail addresses belonging to John Colyandro, Jim Ellis and Warren Robold. The grand jury did not ask DeLay to provide e-mails.
Colyandro was executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee founded by DeLay. Ellis runs DeLay’s national fund-raising committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, and Robold is a Republican fund-raiser in Washington.
Prosecutors allege that DeLay and his associates funneled corporate money given to the Texas committee to an arm of the Republican National Committee, which sent it back to seven GOP candidates for the Texas Legislature. Texas law prohibits corporate money from being used directly in a political campaign.
DeLay, Ellis and Colyandro are charged with conspiracy and money laundering. Colyandro and RoBold are charged with accepting or making restricted corporate donations.
Among the information being requested, the grand jury seeks records from DeLay’s political committee in Texas, including billing information and subscriber and recipient details.
Records requested from DeLay’s daughter
The grand jury also repeated a request for telephone records from DeLay’s daughter, Danielle DeLay Ferro, a political consultant who did work for DeLay’s Texas committee.
“It’s interesting that they’re trying to find evidence at this late date,” said Ellis’ attorney J.D. Pauerstein, who filed motions Thursday to get the charges against his client dismissed.
Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who conducts the grand jury, did not comment on the latest subpoenas.
DeLay’s legal team, meanwhile, sought subpoenas for three Texas officials — state Democratic party chair Charles Soechting; David Reisman, executive director of the Texas Ethics Commission; and Chris Elliott, chairman of the Travis County Democratic Party in Austin.
The officials may be asked to testify at a hearing Tuesday to decide whether state District Judge Bob Perkins should continue to preside over DeLay’s case. DeLay wants the judge removed because of contributions Perkins has made to the Democratic candidates and causes.