(CNN) – Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's conviction on money laundering charges was overturned Thursday by a court in Texas.
DeLay, who was once one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, was convicted in 2010 for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by trying to channel nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the state legislature, which is prohibited by Lone Star state law. Delay, who served more than two decades in the House before resigning in 2006, was sentenced to three years in prison.
"Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal," said an opinion from the District Court of Travis County, Texas.
DeLay was visiting Capitol Hill on Thursday. He was praying in the House chapel when his phone rang and his lawyer told him the news, a source close to DeLay told CNN.
DeLay then headed over to lunch with his former colleagues in the Texas delegation at their weekly lunch.
"He said he felt vindicated," Rep. Randy Neugebauer told CNN as he left the lunch.
The U.S. Department of Justice ended its own investigation of Delay in 2010 without filing any criminal charges against the former congressman. He has been free on bail pending appeal of his conviction.
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN Senior Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.
What a crock. Anyone else would have been incarcerated so far into the system, they'd never see daylight again.
Pretty funny result for a state that can and will give you a life sentance for steeling sneakers, or put you to death on faulty evidence, or because of a failed trial.
If you are the right color and have the right amount of money, you can get away with it in Texas.
Sounds like all the bribes finally paid off. He just had to wait for it to get to a high enough level.
The United States of America: The best government that money can buy!
God our legal system is totally rigged...
Again Texas SE Big Oil influence and money, just as it was back in the days of the corrupt political ladder climbing and administration of LBJ.
Another snake gets away................
Right....... Didn't see that coming.... After all it is Texas....
hopefully he will sue the democrats who brought the charges
a Texas court, need I say more ...
Read a book titled "A Texan looks at Lyndon" and make up your own mind.
How pathetic. Yet another example of what is wrong with our Country, is now a free man.
The TRUTH set him FREE!
Nice to be powerful.
Looks like he funneled some of that money in to a judges pocket as well.
@Winston... not to worry, a guy like DeLay can do much more harm to his party if he's not in prison. He epitomizes the old guard like no other and this is the very reason they lost the last two presidential elections.
Texas...where the GOP rules and citizen rights don't exist. It's corporations and politicians that run Texas.
Read a book published in the 1950's called A Texan Looks At Lyndon, and make up your own mind who influences and supports the corruption in Washington DC.
At least now he can go back to exterminating bugs.
I'm not surprised. There is zero accountability what it comes to corporate fraud. These guys are running the country. Democracy as we know it is dead. All hail corporate.
Proof that even blatant corruption is given a free pass in Texas as long as you are white.
Courts and constitution are really in the way of liberals.