'The Hammer' to the slammer
January 10th, 2011
03:35 PM ET
3 years ago

'The Hammer' to the slammer

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) - A Texas judge is sending "The Hammer" to prison. Former Republican leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison Monday after a jury found him guilty of money laundering and conspiracy.

DeLay emotionally asked the judge for leniency. "I've lost my right to vote. Just because someone disagrees with you, it's not enough, they have to bury you, throw you in jail." DeLay arrived at the Austin courthouse in good spirits earlier today jokingly telling reporters he "had a date with the judge today." During his days in Congress, he earned the nickname "The Hammer."


DeLay was found guilty in November of a campaign-finance scheme that funneled $190,000 in corporate donations through his Texas-based PAC to the Republican National Committee, and then into the campaign coffers of seven Republicans running for the Texas Legislature. By Texas law, corporate money is illegal.

"Mr. DeLay has suffered enough. He lost it all already." said DeLay's attorney, Dick DeGuerin. "He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."

The judge will allow DeLay to post a $10,000 bond while his case is being appealed. DeGuerin says DeLay is posting bond and will be released soon.


Filed under: Tom DeLay
soundoff (295 Responses)
  1. Steve

    I'll start by saying I don't think there's anything wrong with Delay getting a letter from a foreign leader asking for leniency but can you imagine the hard spin right-wing talking heads would be putting on this if it were a Democratic congressman in the same situation? They would have the tea baggers in a frenzy about foreign influence on our judicial system.

    January 10, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. excoach1

    Three years...he ld have been HAMMERED for about 15 years!! He hasn't suffered enough yet...three years in federal prison is like being in a country club village...not punishment.

    January 10, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Sam Barber

    Texas was already the big loser–DeLay used the money to illegally help influence what would eventually be re-districting in favor of Republicans. However, some satisfaction of justice can be had now in his conviction and sentencing.

    January 10, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The Hammer just got put away. Hey, Tom, who thought you'd go from exterminating rodents and other vermin to being one, eh?!

    January 10, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. sheppard

    "He did what he did because he believes in conservative values." Wow! Conservative values include breaking the law? I don't think I'd let this dude speak for me again if I were you, Tom. And PS – you ain't above the law, any more than anyone else, no matter what YOU think.

    January 10, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. Nicholas

    What a shame for Mr Delay, are Irish Juticial system is the envey of every crooked Politician. If this happened in Ireland, we would sit down and talk about it with highbrow people in lovley pin stripe suites, all sucking on hot potatoes.
    Lots of Love Nicholas 2011 economic emigrant. God bless Ireland and all who go down with her

    January 10, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. Sarge1

    lol, Love how the lawyer says he did what he did because he believes in conservative values. I guess conservative value's means going around the law. Typical Conservative who gets caught

    January 10, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. bill

    At least our courts are in good shape.

    January 10, 2011 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. EnjoyPrison

    If he believes so strongly in conservative values, then he shouldn't have a problem supporting things like taking personal responsibility and being hard on crime. In fact, three years is a pretty short jail term for the amount of money he was dealing with (especially when you take into account probation and time off for good behavior). He should be out there asking the judge to give him even more years and spending his spare time advocating the passing of higher mandated minimum sentences.

    January 10, 2011 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. EddyL

    BOO HOO.............. rot in jail

    January 10, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. kevin

    Hhahahahahahah I guess the Judge hit the Hammer on the head with the nail. I laugh at Delay, I thought you were the man and that you were the Hammer, Delay is more like a little kid hammer only good on toys. Hahahahaha GOBP crook, Now enjoy bending over in jail and get the real hammer.

    January 10, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Joe Zamecki

    Tom DeLay has been sentenced to prison. Tom DeLay has been sentenced to prison. It's time to celebrate, Tom DeLay has been sentenced to prison. :o)

    January 10, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. lhunter

    Send the criminal to jail. He should have gotten more time because what he once represented. {Our governmenmt}. That was a slap on the wrist.

    January 10, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    He did too rob and steal by trying to impact the outcome of an election through ill-goten funds. His so-called conservative values led him to do anything in his power, to STAY IN POWER or keep those that could yield their power in his favor in office.
    This is the most absurd excuse for a defense from a so-called lawyer I've heard.....today!

    January 10, 2011 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. JJH

    Awesome..what a crook, and he has no remorse at all.

    I hope he gets to be some big guy's girlfriend in jail..what a loser and good ridance.

    January 10, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. cisco4

    Did all those people who were shot in Tucson have Health Insraunce in the richest country in the world?...Rush Limbaugh says its all insane and silly...Whose insane Rush?.. Now for Sarah Palin and her crosshairs and re-loading acts..Is her show finally over with?

    January 10, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. edog

    His Lawyer's quote, "He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."
    Wow! That says it all! Here is to "conservative values"!!! Just go ahead and do it anyways, even if it is against the law! The same conservatives that believe in illegal immigrants breaking the law... conservatives who wants small government, but wants government to decide if a women can or can not keep a baby... conservatives who believe in the constitution, but only the parts they don't want to amend!!!

    Wake up America!! Fear and Greed has taken hold of your country and "the People" continue to believe in the fear. How people can rally against health care that would help 'The People" is just beyond my comprehension.

    January 10, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. razzle

    no matter what...it was illegal!! he knew it and he still did it. one thing a politician knows is illegal !! they know laundering , kick backs , back room politics and shady deals. this guy will not even see a day in prison. he'll get "so called" probation and that will be the end of it. if he is sent to prison , for a politician , prison means being sent some where out of the public eye for his term like the beaches in rio. there is prison for the common man and then there is prison for politicians. the only way he will see prison if he really p.o'd somebody high up in the govornment. thats just the way it works in the u.s.a.

    January 10, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Steve in CA

    "He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values."

    So, conservative values are above the law? That's how I interpret those words. If that is how Tom feels, then Tom deserves to do time behind bars so he can be reformed.

    January 10, 2011 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  20. AnneS

    It sounds like Tom DeLay still doesn't get it. He was not convicted because somebody didn't like him, he was convicted because HE chose to break the law. This is not a case of Republican vs. Democrat or Liberal vs. Conservative. Lawmakers of ALL affiliations must be held to a high standard. If those in charge work to avoid the laws created by our democratic system, why would we expect anyone else to follow the laws?

    Maybe he will use his time in jail to think about his own lack of integrity and quit whining about other people being to blame for his misfortunes.

    January 10, 2011 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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