RONNIE EARLE’S HAND….It’s funny, but no one seems to be speculating about what kind of evidence Ronnie Earle actually has against Tom DeLay. (Except for Republicans, of course, who are unanimously echoing the official line that the whole thing is a partisan witch hunt.) For those who haven’t been following this affair, the basic story is that it’s illegal in Texas for corporations to contribute to political campaigns. To get around that, DeLay’s PAC (called TRMPAC) donated money to the Republican National Committee, which then turned around and contributed some of its money to TRMPAC’s favored candidates. Several people associated with TRMPAC have already been indicted for this activity.

The basic case against TRMPAC seems pretty good, but today’s indictment says nothing at all in support of the theory that DeLay knew what was going on and actively supported the scheme.

Personally, I figure that of course DeLay knew ? but by that standard, half of Congress would be in jail. By the actual standards of real criminal courts, however, Earle is going to have to present some evidence that supports his theory that DeLay conspired with the TRMPAC directors. In other words, someone is going to have to testify against DeLay.

So: has one of the folks who were previously indicted finally agreed to cooperate with Earle in return for a lighter sentence? Because it sure seems like that’s what it’s going to take. But Earle isn’t talking, and so far neither is anyone else.

Stay tuned.

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