DeLay's Phone Records Subpoenaed

U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-TX) makes a brief statement to the news media after he announced that he was stepping down from his leadership position September 28, 2005 at the Capitol in Washington, DC. GETTY IMAGES/Chip Somodevilla

A Texas prosecutor subpoenaed records for the home telephone of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and the phone of his political campaign Thursday.

Also subpoenaed by prosecutor Ronnie Earle were records for two numbers for DeLay's daughter, Danielle DeLay Ferro.

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 DeLay.

Earle's office declined comment on the subpoenas. He has said the investigation is continuing.

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

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

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

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

White told CBS News he finds this whole case "very strange."

"You indict the majority leader on a conspiracy charge and you're now just looking at his phone records? This should have been taken care of three years ago," White said.

This is not the first time a subpoena has been issued involving 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 Ferro seeking comment went to voice mail. A man who answered a second number for her declined comment.

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

Ed Crowell, owner of CAD Affiliates, said DeLay's campaign office shared a building with him once but his company was not associated with DeLay. He said he was not a contributor and has heard from 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," Crowell said.

DeLay is scheduled to appear Oct. 21 in Austin on the charges.
  • Gina Pace

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