William M. Gibson Jr., the foreman of the Austin, Texas Grand Jury that recently indicted Congressman Tom DeLay appears to be spilling his guts to newspaper reporters. He does not get specific, no names or dates does he speak. Just "... stacks and stacks of papers — evidence of telephone calls from Mr. DeLay and everybody" Papers specifying what, phone logs specifying when and who are not given. Just generalities
This is quite puzzling. By Texas law, Grand Jury proceedings are secret and not to be divulged. This excerpt from the Texas Code Of Criminal Procedure states:
|"... Art. 20.02.... Proceedings secret ...(b) A grand juror ... who discloses anything transpiring before the grand jury,... shall be liable to a fine as for contempt of the court, not exceeding five hundred dollars, imprisonment not exceeding thirty days, or both such fine and imprisonment."|
Maybe Gibson is rich enough so that $500 is a trifling sum, and tough enough that a month in jail is no big deal.
Or maybe he thinks that Texas House Bill 462 has become law. HB462 is sponsored by Harold V. Dutton Jr., a Houston Democrat. It changes the Grand Jury oath so that Jury members are compelled to keep their mouths shut only while that particular Grand Jury is in session. When it disbands, they can blab all they want. If this is what William M. Gibson Jr. believes will keep him out of jail, then Harold Dutton, Democrat, should clue him in that HB462 is still in committee. It ain't law!
Or, and this is by far the most likely scenario, Willaim M. Gibson Jr. is secure in the knowledge that the DA of Travis county will not bring charges against him. That District Attorney is none other than Ronnie (I Just Enforce The Law) Earle. To understand just how this would have come about, focus your attention on the imaginary telephone conversation below.
Cell phone custom ring:" I fought the law, and the....law won..I fought the law and the.....law won......"
Ronnie Earle: Hello, this is Ronnie Earle, I just enforce the law.
William M. Gibson Jr.: Ronnie? Hey Ronnie? It's me Bill.
Ronnie Earle: Bill? Bill who? How did you get this number?
William Gibson Jr.: You know, Bill. The foreman of the Grand Jury. We indicted Tom DeLay.
Ronnie Earle: Oh, sure Bill, what can I do for you?
William Gibson Jr.: Well, I'm upset, Ronnie, you said, you promised that if we indicted him he'd curl up like a red worm on hot concrete and you'd scoop him up like roadkill. But he ain't backin' down! He just keeps comin' on the radio, and the TeeVee, smilin' that smile and sayin' over and over that you ain't got nothin'. He might as well be sayin' that we, the Grand Jury are a bunch of dumbasses, for indicting him on your say-so.
Ronnie Earle: Yeah........Bill, listen to me for a minute, ole buddy. Are ya listenin'? I kinda, sorta told you all a tiny little white lie. The truth is I don't have nearly as much evidence against him as I let on to ya'll. But I figgered if I got him indicted and he saw what he was up against. He'd see reason and ask for a plea bargain. It's worked so many times before I didn't see why it wouldn't work now.
Gibson Jr.: Well, evidently it ain't workin'! What are we going to do now?
Ronnie Earle: Well, I got an idea. It involves you. And you'll have to talk to some reporters about some of the things I told you in the Grand Juty session, only you will make out like you actually saw it.
Gibson Jr.: Reporters, huh? I don't know. I might say the wrong thing. I might do the wrong thing. What'll I say!?.......
Earle: Don't worry about it! You don't have to remember any specific things to say, just generalities, buddy. They'll take it from there.
Jr.: ..... and what about the oath I took to keep all that stuff secret? I could go to jail!
Earle: Bill! Get ahold of yourself. I swear sometimes you are as dense as a fencepost. I am the guy who brings charges in this county! Do you think I would bring charges against you after all you have done for the Party? You just go ahead an do what I tell you, you ain't got nothin' to worry about.
Jr.: Oh, OK! I guess I can expect a call from the news people, huh?
Earle: Yeah. Give me a coupl'a hours to set it up with some of my reporter friends. I'll call you back and we'll go over what you're gonna say to 'em again. OK?
The foregoing conversation is speculation. But taking into account the low-life that is Ronnie Earle, and his history of political vendetta, it is probably true. Maybe not in the details but the broad strokes are right on target.