- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2005

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas prosecutor yesterday subpoenaed the phone records for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s home and campaign during the period he is accused of conspiring to launder illegal corporate donations to candidates.

Prosecutor Ronnie Earle also subpoenaed the records for two numbers for Mr. DeLay’s daughter, Danielle DeLay Ferro, and for a minivan that Mr. Earle claims Mr. DeLay bought.

Mr. DeLay is facing charges of money laundering and conspiracy in a Texas campaign-finance case.

The subpoenas list telephone numbers, but not whom they belong to. They ask for information about the calls and the numbers’ subscribers, voice-mail service, billing information, long-distance calls made from or charged to the numbers and special features.

“The thing is no big deal,” said Bill White, Austin attorney for Mr. DeLay.

Mr. Earle’s office declined to comment on the subpoenas. He has said the investigation is continuing.

Mr. Earle is seeking the records and information from Sept. 1, 2001, to Dec. 31, 2002, the time period when a political committee founded by Mr. DeLay, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), was raising money for the 2002 election cycle.

He also wants Toyota Motor Credit Corp. of Torrance, Calif., to turn over records on a 2004 Toyota Sienna that Mr. Earle says was bought by Mr. DeLay. Mr. White said the minivan was leased as a campaign car in 2003, well after the fundraising for the Texas committee.

Mr. DeLay denies any wrongdoing. However, he was obligated to temporarily step aside as majority leader when charged.

The charges say corporate money was funneled to Texas legislative candidates in violation of state law.

Mr. White said Mr. Earle appeared to be trying to find out what kind of contact Mr. DeLay had with two associates, Jim Ellis and John Colyandro, who also are indicted in the case.

“It seems to me he should have been doing it the last three years. Now is a little late to start checking on his evidence,” Mr. White said.

This is not the first time a subpoena has been issued involving Mr. DeLay’s daughter, a political consultant. She was subpoenaed in early 2004 to appear before a grand jury and bring records of work she did for TRMPAC.

Calls to one number for Mrs. Ferro seeking comment went to voice mail. A man who answered a second number for her declined to comment.

Mr. Earle also subpoenaed records from a phone number for Mr. Ellis’ 12-year-old daughter and for CAD Affiliates, a technology company in a town near Sugar Land, a Houston suburb that is Mr. DeLay’s hometown.

Ed Crowell, owner of CAD Affiliates, said that Mr. DeLay’s campaign office shared a building with him once, but that his company was not associated with Mr. DeLay. He said he was not a contributor and has heard from Mr. DeLay only when he gets recorded campaign calls at home.

“I’ve never seen the man. I may have seen him in the grocery store,” Mr. Crowell said.

Mr. DeLay is scheduled to appear next Friday in Austin on the charges.

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