DeLay conviction overturned
September 19th, 2013
11:22 AM ET
12 months 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. Beau Zozonli

    Well, no surprise here. The country turned into an Oligarchy while we slept, and there is one set of laws for the aristos (total impunity, actually), and one for the peasants (harsh punishments for minor infractions). Still wondering why James Clapper can lie to Congress under oath and no one bats an eye. What do you suppose would happen if one of us did that?

    September 19, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  2. Sol

    Wasn't that expected?

    September 19, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Barry G.

    It's tragic when a people or a nation cannot tell right from wrong, good from evil.

    It's also tragic when the governing authorities of a nation or a people become corrupt.

    September 19, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Drake

    As a native Texan, I'm not surprised at all.
    The good old boy system is alive and well here.
    Just look who the idiots in this state keep electing governor. Money and connections are the prerequisites for the like of Delay and Perry. Corruption should be their middle names.

    September 19, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. Ancient Texan

    Told you so! Delay was framed by an over-zealous DA in Austin who bragged before he even filed charges that he was going to "bring down a sitting Congressman" and had previously tried to do the same with Kay Bailey Hutchinson. He took his bogus "evidence" before numerous Grand Juries before he found one that believed the lies and indicted him.

    September 19, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. Ted T

    So, who did he pay off? WOW!

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

    Is it any wonder that people no longer trust our legal system?

    September 19, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  8. Citizen6

    Just Texas being Texas. Nothing new to see here boys and girls.

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

    A Texas Republican having his conviction overturned by a Texas Supreme Court. Surprised? Really?

    September 19, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. nvmature

    And who is surprised at this?

    September 19, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. DelayedJustice

    CNN-You didn't follow the money.

    September 19, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  12. Tom

    What a shock a politican's conviction is tossed, by a judge/judges who are appointed by politicans' such as tom delay.

    September 19, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. fatlip

    thick as thieves!

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

    If this continues weasels are going to revolt getting tired of being compared to politicians.
    And with merit!

    September 19, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  15. Ancient Texan

    The libs babbling about Delay being a "crook" but never once considering a crooked DA on a vendetta to be liable to the people for wasting millions of dollars and ruining a man's life is predictable.

    September 19, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Mr. Flibble

    They gotta look after their own, right? If you're white, rich and powerful, you're not going to jail.

    September 19, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. Anthony in California

    So how do we change such a corrupt system? Honest question?

    September 19, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  18. TheoldChief

    What a shock. I doubt anyone saw this coming. Let me see...big money plus big politics = no accountability.

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

    I'm not so sure he's vindicated in the court of public opinion. The court said the "evidence was legally insufficient". That's a far cry from stating that he was innocent.

    September 19, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Neil

    Justice DeLayed is justice denied.

    September 19, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Ancient Texan

    M.A.P.- YAWN! Still considering Obama and Co as qualified and supportive of America?

    September 19, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Snoopz

    "What a shock a politican's conviction is tossed, by a judge/judges who are appointed by politicans' such as tom delay."

    Sorry – the court is populated by Democrats. What else you got?

    September 19, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Chuck88888

    This was a witch-hunt from the beginning. Happy to see justice was finally served.

    September 19, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Loathstheright

    What else can expect from a Texas rightwing corrupt court? Justice? Not for the Bug Man.

    September 19, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  25. Whatup

    You people blaming republicans for this are re at rd ed. Obama's DOJ was also investigating him and dropped the investigation in 2010. They didn't have enough to charge him with anything.

    September 19, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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