Earlier, we noted
that Tom DeLay threatened to have Ronnie Earle's power removed: "[the Texas legislature] can take his power away from him because there was the Texas legislature that gave him this power." He promised action in the next session of the legislature.
Now, Ronnie Earle was elected by the people of Texas, so the legislature can't just boot him. The way I see it, DeLay has two options: he could somehow use the Texas legislature to strip Earle's jurisdiction over the case, but that could get sticky. Or (eureka!) he could have the Texas legislature defund Texas' Public Integrity Unit, which would cut Earle off.
I bet that last one's awful tempting to DeLay. And no one can doubt that he's shameless enough to try it.
As I reported before, if there is a plan afoot, no one has bothered to tell the Speaker of the Texas House. So maybe DeLay is just pounding his chest.
Earle's office wouldn't comment on the matter. But they said a statement was forthcoming about the case now that DeLay has said he will step down from his seat.
Late Update: Here's Ronnie Earle's entire statement:
Tom DeLay's political status has nothing to do with the criminal charges against him. This changes nothing. His criminal cases will proceed just as they would for any other defendant. DeLay's ultimate fate will be decided by the public acting through a jury.