Here's an interesting in-depth profile of a woman at the center of the DeLay empire who has remarkably escaped notice (until now): Susan Hirschmann, one of DeLay's top aides from 1997 to 2002. She was at the center of the scandal: she went on the infamous Scotland junket in 2000, as well as the Russia trip in 1997. Yet she's not a target of Justice investigators.
Maybe she's clean. In the many stories of scams that cut through DeLay's office, none have yet mentioned Hirschmann. But many of the characters who perpetrated those scams worked for Hirschmann when she was chief of staff, so she must have been aware, to some degree, of what was under her nose.
It raises an interesting question: Did Hirschmann cooperate with Justice folks from the early days of the scandal? The profile -- from the Influence section of Legal Times, which tracks the lobbying world -- doesn't directly touch on the matter. But it would certainly explain how a figure as central as Hirschmann could stay so far behind the scenes, while her former colleagues face harsh public scrutiny.
(Ed. note: Updated 4:54 P.M.)