A Texas court has issued a warrant for the arrest of former US Republican leader Tom DeLay on money laundering and conspiracy charges. Bail was set at $10,000 ahead of the former House majority leader's scheduled court appearance on Friday.
Officials said the warrant is a routine step. But it means that before his court appearance, Mr DeLay is likely to be fingerprinted and photographed.
Mr DeLay is accused of breaking campaign finance law, but denies it.
He is accused of laundering $190,000 in corporate contributions for use in Republican campaigns in Texas.
State law forbids the use of corporate money for political campaigns.
"To any sheriff or peace officer of the state of Texas, greetings, you are hereby commanded to arrest Thomas Dale DeLay and keep him safely so that you have him before the 331st Judicial District Court of Travis County," the warrant said, reports BBC.
Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who has led the investigation into DeLay's campaign finance activities, said in a statement he had not requested the arrest warrant, but also had not objected to it.
"We believe that Congressman DeLay should be treated like everyone else," he said.
News reports said DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin was negotiating with officials in Fort Bend County in DeLay's district near Houston for the congressman to turn himself in there on Thursday, but neither DeLay nor DeGuerin would comment.
DeLay is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Friday, and a DeGuerin spokeswoman confirmed he would be there, informs Reuters.
Since the likes of the traditional Inauguration Day in the national Capitol are likely never to be witnessed again, take this opportunity from one who has been there to relate some truth about the experience