Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) asked a judge Wednesday to separate the two remaining charges against him and let him go to trial quickly on one count.

He is seeking a quick resolution of the charges so he can regain his post as House majority leader when Congress reconvenes in late January.

House GOP rules prevent him from holding the post as long as he is under indictment.

On Monday, Texas Judge Pat Priest dismissed one conspiracy charge against DeLay but let stand charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.

Because Priest stripped some language in the remaining conspiracy charge, that count could be tied up in the courts if prosecutors appeal.

DeLay, 58, and two GOP fundraisers are accused of illegally funneling $190,000 in corporate donations to 2002 candidates for the Texas legislature.

DeLay attorney Dick DeGuerin asked Priest to sever the two charges and proceed with a trial on the money-laundering charge. If DeLay is acquitted of that charge, the conspiracy count could be irrelevant.

DeGuerin asked that a trial be tentatively scheduled for the first or second week in January.

Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle has until Dec. 20 to appeal Priest's ruling.