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“I did not feel that the United States Capital Historical Society should remove [DeLay and Cunningham’s] names from the list — and from history — on our own call, especially since Congress has not taken that step,” Sarasin wrote in his own letter to Pelosi on Friday. “I don’t think the Society should pretend they never existed. If one were insistent upon erasing from history those individuals who brought disgrace upon themselves and upon the institution in which they served, the busts of Burr, Agnew and Nixon would have to be removed from the Capitol and references to the service of [former Reps.] Dan Rostenkowski and Wilbur Mills would be stricken from the records.”
Sarasin said he would not include Cunningham’s name on the roll call of departing Members, but he would include DeLay. “Although [DeLay] may be under indictment, he is entitled under our system of laws, to the presumption of innocence.”
In light of her views, Sarasin added that the society “will understand” if Pelosi does not attend the event.
DeLay’s daughter and campaign manager, Dani DeLay Ferro, ridiculed Pelosi’s objections to her father being honored along with the other lawmakers this Wednesday.
“She will be missed,” said Ferro. “Nancy Pelosi can’t understand normal things.”
Ferro added that “DeLay would most likely” stop by the event.
Cunningham pleaded guilty last year to accepting more than $2.4 million in bribes over a five-year period, as well as tax evasion and fraud. He is currently serving a 100-month sentence in federal prison. Cunningham pleaded guilty to the charges on Nov. 28 and resigned from the House the same day.
DeLay left the House on June 9 after more than 20 years in Congress. DeLay, weakened politically by his ties to former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and several ex-aides who have pleaded guilty in the ongoing corruption probe of the one-time K Street heavyweight, faced a difficult re-election battle.
DeLay has also been indicted in Texas on state money-laundering charges stemming from his role in the Lone Star State’s 2003 redistricting battle. DeLay has not been charged with any wrongdoing in the federal corruption investigation.
Elizabeth Brotherton contributed to this