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House GOP eases its rules for DeLay

AP reports: Supporters of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay proposed a Republican rules change Tuesday that would protect the Texan's leadership position if he were to be indicted by a Texas grand jury that already charged three of his associates.

House Republicans are likely to approve Wednesday the change in the rule that would force him to step aside if indicted. The show of support would be an endorsement of DeLay's position that the Travis County investigation is a partisan attack.

Currently, rules of the House Republican Conference, which comprises all House GOP members, requires leaders to step aside from the party post if they are indicted for a felony punishable by two or more years in jail. The proposed change would eliminate the step-aside requirement for nonfederal indictments. -- AP Wire | 11/16/2004 | DeLay Supporters Move to Protect His Spot

UPDATE: DailyKOS and Talking Points Memo make pretty much the same point about this rule change:

In the modern GOP, power trumps the rule of law. The ends justify the (illegal) means. -- House GOP prepares for DeLay indictment

House Republicans embrace new pro-crime agenda! -- Talking Points Memo