Thursday, May 05, 2005

DeLay Loses Allies on Ethics Panel

In yet another sign that Republicans are shying away from House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, two of DeLay’s staunchest supporters have decided to withdraw from the House Ethics Panel's investigations of DeLay.

Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Tom Cole (R-OK) had both contributed to DeLay’s legal defense fund and had were placed on the ethics panel earlier this year in a move many believed was an attempt to shield DeLay from further rebuke. They replaced two Republicans who had voted to admonish DeLay.

Smith and Cole will remain on the panel, but their withdrawal from the DeLay cases clearly indicates that the Republicans are concerned that their protection of DeLay could become a liability. It remains to be seen how the Ethics Panel handles the charges against DeLay, but this move must worry the Majority Leader.

CORRECTION: The Yellow Line initially reported that Smith and Cole were leaving the Ethics Panel. They are only recusing themselves in matters concerning DeLay. The story has been corrected and TYL regrets the error.


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