WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Texas grand jury has charged House Majority Leader Tom DeLay with conspiracy in a campaign-finance scheme.
The Texas Republican has issued a statement saying he'll "temporarily step aside."
Republican congressional officials say House Speaker Dennis Hastert will recommend California Congressman David Dreier take over for DeLay.
The indictment against the high-profile Republican came on the final day of the grand jury's term. It followed earlier indictments of a state political action committee DeLay had founded with three political associates.
Two of DeLay's associates were also charged.
DeLay has denied committing any crime and accused the Democratic district attorney leading the investigation of pursuing the case for political motives.
DeLay spokesman says indictment is political
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A spokesman for Tom DeLay is dismissing today's indictment against the House majority leader as being politically motivated.
The spokesman says the charge is "nothing more than" an attempt at revenge against the high-profile Republican by a Democratic prosecutor.
A Texas grand jury has charged DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme.
DeLay's spokesman says Democrats couldn't successfully attack him at the polls or on the House floor. Now he says "they're trying to get him into the courtroom."
The indictment prompted DeLay to announce he'll temporarily surrender his House leadership post. But his spokesman says the charge won't "detract from the Republican agenda."
CAPITOL HILL (AP) -- House Majority Leader Tom DeLay says he has "done nothing wrong." He says he will be cleared of all allegations.
DeLay describes prosecutor Ronnie Earle as a "partisan zealot" and a "fanatic."
Reading a statement to reporters at the US Capitol, DeLay described the charge against him as a "reckless" one that is "wholly unsupported by the facts." He calls it "one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history."
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)