Delay Appears In Court

One day after going to a Texas Sheriff's office to have his mug shot taken and be fingerprinted, former House Majority Leader Tom Delay made his first court appearance.

But the case will be delayed as his lawyers immediately requested a new judge and a change of venue.

Indicted Republican Tom Delay appeared in court for the first time on charges of money laundering and conspiracy. Afterwards Delay accused prosecutor Ronnie Earle of attacking him solely for political reasons.

Delay said, "I have committed no wrong doing. I know that, and more importantly Ronnie Earle knows that."

Delay was expected to enter a plea in the courtroom. Before that could happen the defense team filed a motion to remove Judge Bob Perkins from the case because he makes political contributions to Democrats.

Judge Perkins said, "This is going to continue to be an issue whether it is a Democratic judge or a Republican judge."

Defense attorney Dick Deguerin said, "Perkins contributes to the group "Move-On-Dot-Org" which is in direct opposition to Tom Delay. "Move-On-Dot-Org" was selling t-shirts with Mr. Delay's picture.

Judge Perkins said, " I haven't seen the t-shirt, and I haven't bought it. Perkins did agree to send the motion to a higher court to decide.

Delay is free on $10,000 bail. Degeurin is also asking for a change in venue.

Deguerin said, "All we want is a fair trial...."

Prosecutor Ronnie Earle accuses Delay and two associates of illegally funneling money to Republican legislative candidates in the 2002 election.