House Speaker Dennis Hastert ousted term-limited Ethics Chairman Joel Hefley (R.-Colo.) from the committee, replacing him with a GOP loyalist, Rep. Doc Hastings (R.-Wash.). The move had been expected for months given the displeasure with Hefley over the way he dealt with House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R.-Tex.), who was rebuked three times by the ethics panel and could face even more trouble if he’s indicted by a bitterly partisan prosecutor in Texas. Hastert also placed Representatives Lamar Smith (Tex.) and Tom Cole (Okla.) on the committee. Each member’s PAC gave money to DeLay’s legal defense.
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