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Members Give $73K to DeLay Fund

Indicted Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) legal expense trust fund raised money at a healthy clip in the third quarter of 2005 and spent it at nearly the same rate, newly filed disclosure reports show. DeLay’s latest House filings show that his legal fund took in $318,000 from July 1 to Sept. 30, including $73,500 in donations from his fellow Congressional Republicans.

Over the same period, the trust spent $278,000, with $260,000 going to five different law firms for legal fees.

While DeLay is spending plenty of money defending himself against the money laundering indictment filed against him by a grand jury in Texas, the former Majority Leader also has a team of lawyers dealing with his ongoing potential trouble in Washington, D.C., related to embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff and controversial overseas trips.

Brent Perry, the legal fund’s trustee, said the lawyers were assigned as follows: Dick DeGuerin of DeGuerin, Dickson & Hennessy (which received $25,000 in the third quarter), and William A. White ($10,000) are working on the Texas case. McDermott, Will & Emery ($55,000) and McGuire Woods ($70,000) are working “primarily” on Abramoff-and travel-related matters, while Bracewell & Giuliani ($100,000) has done work on both the Texas and D.C. fronts.

A steady stream of donations from DeLay’s House colleagues has helped to defray those costs. His fund has received help from the re-election committees of GOP Reps. Wally Herger (Calif.), Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.), Joe Barton (Texas), Joe Wilson (S.C.), Mac Thornberry (Texas), Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Henry Hyde (Ill.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.).

As for political action committees, DeLay has netted donations from the leadership PACs of Republican Reps. Dan Burton (Ind.), Tom Reynolds (N.Y.), Jerry Lewis (Calif.), Mike Oxley (Ohio), Jim McCrery (La.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Buck McKeon (Calif.), John Linder (Ga.), Charlie Norwood (Ga.) and Barton as well as Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

Since July 1, 2004, when DeLay began actively collecting donations again after a long period of inactivity, the Texan’s legal fund has raised a total of $848,000 and spent $768,000.

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