DeLay conviction overturned
September 19th, 2013
11:22 AM ET
5 years ago

DeLay conviction overturned

(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.

Filed under: Tom DeLay
soundoff (468 Responses)
  1. stevetall

    Without a doubt, DeLay is scum. So, rich political hacks get 'justice' after years of working the court system and paying tons of money to lawyers? Great news for America. We should have tarred and feathered this clown way back when. A truly disgusting excuse for a citizen.

    September 19, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  2. Seriously...

    Meanwhile Texas is going to EXECUTE 4 or 5 inmates over the next 3 months..... Crank up the machine, boys!!!

    September 19, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Lavi

    A Rick Perry appointment?

    September 19, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. anonymous

    Another political witchhunt by the Democrats wasting millions of our tax dollars. Meanwhile they are using the federal government and the IRS to target their ploitical opponents. The Democrat Party is a criminal enterprise at this point and should be investigated under the RICO statues.

    September 19, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Brotherman

    Want to see the court release all those other prisoners who are sitting in jail and don't have the political friends as Delay. Damn crook!

    September 19, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. VEW2012

    If figures Texas doesn't believe in convicting truly corrupt people with deep pockets... it is.just the petty ones.

    September 19, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. disgusted

    just good ole' boys, takin' care of their own.

    nothin' to see here, folks- move along...

    September 19, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    He's praying in a chapel, his phone rings, and he answers it! Sorry, God, gotta take this – I'll get back to you later.

    September 19, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. John Boy

    Of course –
    "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning for a better life, and we'll make darn sure they don't get it. They can work for us and they can rent from us and they can even make us more and more wealthy. But they aren't owning a darn thing. They can die in the streets from illness, or even starve to death – We don't care, but you can be dang sure they're not getting a penny from us or the government if we have anything to say about it. These poor ass folks need to understand their place and it is not around us!"
    – GOP

    September 19, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. George

    Another corrupt judicial system in Texas. How much was paid Sir Judge?

    September 19, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. M.A.P.

    @anonymous – YAWN! Still running the IRS scandal as fact? You really are deserpate to make partisan sneers. Pathetic.

    September 19, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. Sharpshtik

    A corrupt Democrat prosecutor in a Democrat district hounded the House leader, grand jury shopped to try to get an indictment and selected from Democrat jurors. It was Democrat corruption and has finally been labeled what it was. Democrat did not have the evidence required to convict, but then that is expected because Democrats are incapable of reviewing facts and law and engaging in rational analyses.

    September 19, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Muddy Road

    Game on!

    September 19, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  14. Mike

    Well one of two things happened here, either Delay got away with this because someone pulled some strings, or there are a few liberals who tried to fabricate evidence crying in their milk. Both types of things go on all the time in this country with the current clowns residing in Washington. How can you trust either party at this point? They are all criminals looking out for themselves and their friends. NONE of them care about voters, of course unless it is a few weeks before their re-election attempts. Then they "claim" to speak for the people. The next politician that uses the phrase "the American people" deserves a kick in the rear. Nobody believes they do anything for "the American people."

    September 19, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Rescapco

    So It's Ok for the democrat party and Bill Clinton to take illegal money from China in 1996. Oh gosh guess we have some kind of double standard.

    September 19, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Janice

    Yet another example of corruption and the fact that power & money trumps everything and everyone. The fox is in the and is having a feast. The idea that the government can monitor itself is a joke. The government is "of the politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians".

    September 19, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  17. kirk

    Corruption, in Texas, cmon now gotta be some kinda mistake. Rick Perry would never let his citizens be run over by big money, would he? The justice system there is a real rich mans dream, maybe he can promote that on his next job hawking mission

    September 19, 2013 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Gumba

    I wonder how much this cost. These guys always seem to magically find a court and have their convictions tossed eventually. Kinda like saying, you shouldn't have gotten caught fool. You had to pay a little time for it. Now go and sin no more.

    September 19, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. glenda

    Guest, I completely agree. What an embarrasment & I live in Texas! Please know not ALL of us voted for "Slick Rick" I can't even begin to understand the mentality of how he is STILL our governor. Oh but wait, perhaps it's the FIRST CLASS education system he sponsors!

    September 19, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. doublestandard

    If you are going to whine about this. You better come after Charlie Rangel with the same vigor. If not. shut your cake hole.

    September 19, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  21. Sammy

    This legal system seems fishy to me , Justice Delayed......its a shame

    September 19, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. waf98

    Stevetall – you look to be nothing more than an epithet-hurling sore loser. How you can call this man scum is just beyond belief. He has broken no laws, is a contributing member of society, and a very decent family man. In no way is he a clown, nor is he deserving of the invective "disgusting." What do you think your comments say about you??

    September 19, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. MiserableOldFart

    Amerikan justice. This criminal POS walks and Blogo is in jail for much less? No wonder this country is in a death spiral!

    September 19, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  24. misanthroper

    We are mistaken in believing that our political parties are different. They are just corporate america covering it's bases.

    September 19, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    "He [DeLay] has been free on bail pending appeal of his conviction."
    That right there, should have been the foreshadowing of things to come.

    Have you ever heard of such a thing before in your life? I have never heard of someone being convicted and sentenced to jail, but then released on bail pending the outcome of your appeal. Since when are you eligible for bail *after* you have been convicted and sentenced to jail? People are jailed because they represent a threat to general society.

    DeLay was convicted for breaking Texas law. What gives a judge the right to overturn a conviction based upon what today's law say? DeLay was convicted for breaking the laws on the books at the time. Just because it is not as serious a crime, or not all, today does not take away from the fact the DeLay broke the law.

    September 19, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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