Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says this morning’s announcement Former House Majority leader Tom DeLay is resigning is probably a good thing for the Republican party, so the embattled Texas representative doesn’t become, in Grassley’s words, a lightning rod.
Grassley says “This is a case of a person who would like to continue to serve in Congress but realizes that the controversy (means) it’s best that he steps down.” DeLay faces indictments in Texas and is embroiled in the scandal with lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In a videotaped announcement, DeLay said he’d resign sometime before mid-June and will not seek reelection.
Grassley says it was obviously a difficult, personal decision for DeLay. Grassley says “As a practical matter, there’s a chance that since he is controversial, since he has this case pending, even if he’s not guilty, he’s still in trouble politically and he felt that it wasn’t the right thing to do for his party, for him or his Congressional district.” DeLay resigned as majority leader in January, days after Abramoff entered into a plea bargain as part of a federal corruption probe.