DeLay conviction overturned
September 19th, 2013
11:22 AM ET
10 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. 1uniquemonique

    Texas is an unmitigated disgrace to the rest of the United States... We SHOULD let it secede... Then we should invade it.

    *************************************************************************************************************************************************
    I agree wholeheartedly, but don't forget Florida.

    September 19, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. MasterBlaster

    I wonder how many of those judges may of gotten some of that GOP Trickle Down Campaign Economics. Sad how these people abuse a good justice System. I reckon if your in DC
    "Its only illegal if you get caught"
    Or don't buy a bunch of appellate judges.
    Is this the Texas way?
    Why don't Texans get 'em straight?

    September 19, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. Ben

    ACDC.......Money Talks

    September 19, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. For the Duration

    Just another politician getting away with things he shouldn't have.

    September 19, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. us_1776

    "by a court in Texas"

    Well, there's your explanation right there.

    .

    September 19, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  6. edpeters101

    "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."
    Well now we know why there aren't any Atheists in Congress, and who God is really looking out for!

    September 19, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  7. Winslow Sarduci

    Let's remember our wonderful VP who copied 5 pages of judicial decision as a law student. Then when he was caught several years later the law board in Delaware forgave him. His excuse... I didnt know I had to cite sources. Yeah right. Did he skip college English and high school English? Of course when you have a Democratic Senator in a Democratic state, all is forgiven. Is this any different than what happened in TX? NO

    September 19, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. De Odorizer

    Awwww, he was praying in the chapel, he hadn't started his 3-yr prison term yet, and suddenly, oh miracle, his sentence is overturned, by a court in ... get this... Texas.....
    I am so glad one of the meanest republican vipers got off the hook, now he can continue being a lobbyist.. How many people do they have in prison for minor traffic violations, death row inmates in Texas anybody?

    Thank Willy that Tom delay got off. There is still real justice out there.. oh my oh my

    September 19, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. ZardaBaBy

    Texas. Need more be said?

    September 19, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  10. Jack

    Well I guess there's a Travis County Tex-iss District Court judge who has political aspirations and knows how raise $$$-just like all Tex-iss politics, this stinks of political favors. Damned shame...it used to be hard to hijack states like Tex-iss.

    September 19, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. TELLINGITLIKEITIS

    Now let's us just wait and see what TED CRUZ does for TEXAS now!!!! We have had "GW" who hid behind his family's GOP connection and fast-forwarded to becomming Presildent when he wasn't even qualified to be one. Then there's Perry who's been SO INFLUENCED by the likes of the Bush's Texas GOPs, that he's not what he's being made out to be. Just another dumb politician who tries to be somebody by the coattails of the "Tea Party"..

    September 19, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Kyle

    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.

    'God, please watch over my country, my family....ring, ring....Hold on God, I have to take this....."

    September 19, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. jharry

    The whole thing was nothing more than trumped up charges from a Demwit Prosecutor going outside the law. Kinda like BO.

    September 19, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Chicago

    I guess if Hillary is walking free then this guy should too. Or better yet lock them both up.

    September 19, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Malu

    Our entire government is run by money-hungry bandits. They say some of the "3rd World Countries" are corrupt.....we just have more $$$ to fight over, and the criminals wear nice suits!!!

    September 19, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. alf564

    HUH !!!??? He should be jailed for life. I am an independent leaning right but this man is a disgrace to any and all political parties.... Remember his nick name, "THE HAMMER"...he is a rotten bully and has no right being out of jail...

    September 19, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Delays just another GOP slug who has stolen as much as he could from the taxpayers of Texas and the stupid GOP voters gave him a pass while he steals from them,but what else would you expect from the GOP party of stupid voters. Delays the originators of gerrymandering and vote rigging and should be excuted

    September 19, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Randolph Flagler

    Once again, a technicality trumps justice. In this country, the court system is a game where justice has no place, fairness has no voice, and morality is left at the door. All you need to do is play the game better than your opponent, and you prevail. It's not a system of justice; it's a big game that rewards high-priced attorneys for selling their souls.

    September 19, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. JJ

    So we're supposed to care that he shopped around for a judge to overturn the conviction? He's still a CONVICT, still a CRIMINAL.

    September 19, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Chuck

    Not even enough decency to turn off his phone in church.

    September 19, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  21. Andy in Vic

    I can' t say I'm surprised – this is Texas after all and Delay is an in-crowd Republican. What does surprise me is that an appellate court can rule that the "evidence is insufficient to sustain a guilty verdict". Questions of law, yes. Questions of procedure, yes. But overturning the people who actually heard the case with a second hand opinion on what they heard? Glad I don't live there, gladder still that my kids didn't have to go to skule there.

    September 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Texas Defender

    It was for violating a Texas law that he was convicted. The Federal government took a pass on filing any charges so comments about Texas being the problem are unsupported. Texas convicted him and then Texas overturned the conviction. No one else did anything.

    September 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  23. Fer

    Keep in mind , that judge is in his job probably thanks to him , he is a corrupt politician, but then again a court in Texas decided .

    September 19, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. Hal Bass

    Now the exterminator can join with the tea partiers in keeping John Boehner under "House arrest" as they prepare to shut down the government.

    September 19, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  25. craig

    Well, it's Texas. I guess we shouldn't be surprised. They can execute folks with very questionable proof...but this guy is special, so the rules are different for him.

    September 19, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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