Texas grand jury indicts Cheney, Gonzalez

A Texas grand jury has issued indictments against Vice President Dick Cheney and former attorney general Alberto Gonzalez over abuse at privately run prisons, court documents showed.

The three-page indictment Tuesday alleges that Cheney profited from the abuse because he invested 85 million dollars in a mutual fund company which holds shares of for-profit prisons.

It said this is a "direct conflict of interest" because Cheney had influence over the federal contracts awarded to the prison companies.

The indictment also accused Cheney of committing "at least misdemeanor assaults" of inmates by allowing other inmates to assault them.

The indictment further alleges that Gonzalez "participated by further having used his position … to stop the investigations as to the wrong doings which includes the assaults committed in the prison for profit in Willacy County, Texas."

Cheney and Gonzalez were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

Several other related indictments were brought against a host of public officials in what one lawyer called a circus act by a local prosecutor seeking revenge in his final weeks in office.

"We look forward to having the opportunity to have an independent, competent prosecutor review the facts, and are confident that once that happens these baseless charges will be dismissed," said Michael Cowen, who represents Texas state senator Eddie Lucio.

Cheney’s spokeswoman declined to comment because his office had not yet received a copy of the indictment.

"I’m not going to speculate or forecast the vice president’s legal options," Megan Mitchell told AFP.

"Let’s wait and see if we even receive one."

9 Responses to "Texas grand jury indicts Cheney, Gonzalez"

  1. bryan mcclellan  November 19, 2008 at 9:01 am

    While Bush is furtively trying to patch together his Illegitimacy, his minions are screwing up the works by adding new wings of sordid infamy to his Presidential library replete with concertina wire, guard towers and bars.

    Would it not be a hoot to see the little weasel sell them all down the poop chute in an effort to shine up the turd that his administration has always been?

  2. Malibu  November 19, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Now this will be interesting!

    We may have seen the first two men from the Bush Administration to be pardoned.

    Malcolm, in great hopes that justice will be done.

  3. JudyB  November 20, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I have no expectations that justice will be served by GWB…why should he start now? But, I do fantasize about what would happen if it did.
    IF he does decide to pardon the ilk of Cheney, Gonzales, Ted Stevens, Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff, Tom Delay etc. (he has so many criminals to draw from in his adminstration,the list could concievably be longer than Clintons). Interestingly, as governor he gave clemency to only one out 136…135 were put to death under his Texas reign.

    Does anybody here know if it would it be legal for him to have the list of those he may decide to pardon sealed? G.W.B has been head of the most secretive administration in history so, it wouldn’t surprise me even a little if he did.

  4. adamrussell  November 19, 2008 at 9:44 am

    There goes those texas librals again.

  5. psyopswatcher  November 19, 2008 at 10:35 am

    This is probably what was being discussed when Cheney shot Harry Whittington in the face.

    Molly Ivins tipped us off to the likely scenario way back then…

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/02/14/ivins.cheney/

    And about the U.S. Swiss Ambassador, Pamela Willeford, who was also part of the hunting party, the Swiss govt just happened to be asking a lot of questions about prisons too. Was she there to get some answers for them?

  6. Flapsaddle  November 19, 2008 at 11:49 am

    It may be a stretch for several reasons:

    1. You can get an indictment against a ham sandwich if you are careful with what facts you present to the grand jury.

    2. The DA, Juan Guerra, seems to have legal problems of his own and, in the best tradition of Rio Grande Valley politics, is using his authority to exact revenge during the waning days of his service.

    3. If the connection to the prisons is via investment in a mutual fund that holds shares in a for-profit prison facility, I’d think that you would need to show that Cheney directed the investment.

    Most sincerely,

    T. J. Flapsaddle

  7. gazelle1929  November 19, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Details, details.

  8. adamrussell  November 19, 2008 at 9:11 pm

    While a grand jury indictment is not a conviction, it is enough to haul Cheney into court.

  9. gazelle1929  November 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Actually, no. The judge in the case is issuing a summons rather than an arrest warrant. Shows how much faith HE has in the validity of the charges. I repeat:

    Neither Cheney nor Gonzales will spend so much as a minute under arrest in this matter.

    The charges certainly appear to be bogus anyway. This is apparently a stunt by a prosecutor who is in a spot of trouble his own self.

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