Breaking: Cole and Smith to recuse themselves from DeLay query

From the Associated Press:

Two Republican members of the House ethics committee will not participate in any investigation of Majority Leader Tom DeLay because they contributed to DeLay's legal defense chairman, the ethics panel chairman said Wednesday.

The chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said Reps. Lamar Smith of Texas and Tom Cole of Oklahoma agreed with him that the past contributions "raised doubts - however unwarranted - about whether those members would be able to judge fairly allegations of impropriety against Mr. DeLay."

[...]

If Smith and Cole recuse themselves, Hastings said he would ask Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., to designate two House members to serve temporarily in any DeLay investigation. The House will have a 20-member pool, 10 members from each party, to allow the speaker to chose temporary panel members. (emphasis added.)

The rest of the GOP members of the committee -- Reps. Biggert, Hart, and Hastings -- should also be replaced. They all took ARMPAC -- DeLay's PAC -- contributions. DeLay shouldn't be able to buy the jury. But if that leaves precious few GOP members not bought and paid for. Maybe Shays, Hefley... oh, the irony if that happened...