NRO’s Stephen Spruiell is reporting that “that the judge, Pat Priest, has been pretty tough on Ronnie Earle’s case in his questioning, asking things like, ‘Why so many indictments?’ and ‘Why are you alleging a violation of criminal law when the transaction is more properly addressed by the election code?’”
Spruiell also links to an expert opinion letter from University of Texas Law Professor Susan Klein, who has this to say:
Judge Priest is expected to rule on the motion to dismiss in about 2 weeks. Despite displeasure expressed by DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin, he is likely ecstatic that Judge Priest did not rule immediately. While DeLay obviously wanted the judge to dismiss the charges today, there will still be celebrations in the DeLay camp tonight and knots in the stomach of Ronnie Earle.
In brief, it is my opinion that neither Texas Penal Code section 15.02, prohibiting criminal conspiracy, nor Texas Penal Code section 34.02, prohibiting money laundering, applies where the predicate offense is a violation of the the Texas Election Code. Moreover, there can no no substantive money laundering violation as a matter of law where the transaction consisted of the passing of a personal or business check.