“Aston, why the devil are you over there?” Dummond McLaren shouted. “You get over here and sit down on a rear bench, right this instant!” Anyone who was in doubt as to who was about to speak had had their doubts removed.
“Mister Speaker, I am allowed now – the rest comes later – one piece of evidence and one charge.” Aston Hughes cleared his throat. “I place the evidence of the rear display, a list of financial transactions beginning with Stellar Republic intelligence and ending up in the First Minister’s campaign treasury, and the associated letter from the First Minister to our Ambassador acknowledging the transfer by amount, its date, its actual source, and its destination.”
“Liar! Liar!” Drummond-McLaren shouted. His supporters in the Senate repeated the chant.
“Mister Speaker, our laws on foreign intervention in our elections are absolutely clear on this matter,” Hughes continued. “I charge the First Minister with Treason, and call for no confidence in his government.”
The Chamber erupted in sound, continuing until the Union Mace was pounded thrice on the floor.
“I note that an additional charge has been made, as permitted by our rules,” D’Dangelo said. ‘Does anyone else wish to make supplemental charges? Or may we advance to Senator DeWitt and her answer to my question?”
“Mister Speaker,” Elektra said, “we have no additional charges, and have already prepared the responders. These mostly take the form of additional documents from the First Minister’s public files, notably letters from the First Minister to Ambassador Parker. Some of them hope that the two named pieces of legislation will pass into law before anyone on Earth notices. Others thank the Ambassador for arranging certain cash transfers from Mogado Bank of the Stars and Mogado Investment Trust to a series of named locations, terminating at Bulger Interstellar, which had confirmed arrival of the funds. He asked that several named persons be thanked for getting him the money. The named persons include the head of the Stellar Republic’s Covert Operations Bureau and the Stellar Republic’s External Intelligence Service.”
“First Minister, you are allowed to respond to this new evidence,” D’Angelo said.
Regarding the plot element where an expensive spaceship transports a few tens of thousands tons of iron: Maybe the book should update that to another, less common metal. I just came across this:
The current world steel production is a few billion tons per year.