Bush: I Think DeLay Is Innocent, “I Hope" He’ll Return To Be House Majority Leader…

President Bush said on Wednesday that he thought Representative Tom DeLay, under indictment in Texas, was innocent and that he hoped Mr. DeLay could return to the post of House majority leader.

In an interview with Fox News, Mr. Bush broke with his usual practice of avoiding direct comment on pending criminal investigations to express his faith in Mr. DeLay, who was forced by party rules to step aside as majority leader after being indicted in September on charges of funneling corporate campaign contributions to Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature. Mr. DeLay says he is a victim of political motivations on the part of Ronnie Earle, the Democratic prosecutor who obtained the indictment.

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