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. Pablo

    The rich acquire a dream team of well know lawyers to escape all kinds of justice. Alice Walton had her DUI charge dismissed last week because the state trooper who issued the ticket didn't show up for the hearing. What luck, huh.

    September 19, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. mungo

    They had to let him go because as it turned out . The money was older then it looked, was dressing provocatively and secretly wanted to be stolen.

    September 19, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. austinbikergirl

    Let me guess. Slick Perry wanted a praying partner for rain and the 2016 presidency, but would never have had anything to do with this conviction being overturned for a fellow republican. Naw, he wouldn't do that, would he? However, Texas Atty. General Greg Abbott, who is throwing in his republican hat for the election of governor in 2016, has learned much from Slick when it comes to sheister politics and cronyism. I also wonder how much Tom will influence big corporate dollars to Abbotts election funds. Surely our god-fearing, praying, religious, women hating, gerrymandering politicians in Texas would only do what god instructs them to do for our own theocratic goodness.
    How can Texans be so stupid enough to continue electing foxes to guard the hen house?

    September 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Ancient Texan

    No one find the fact a crooked DA in a DIM stronghold rigged the "evidence" to bring down a sitting Congressman that the DA felt was too powerful and hurting the DIM's cause and railroaded an innocent man WRONG?
    Of course, people would dislike that, but that is not what happened. DeLay broke Texas law. Would those same actions be in violation of Texas law today? Maybe not. But, the actions were crimes when he committed them. Just because the law may have changed since he committed those crimes does not excuse the FACT that he broke Texas state law, and was found guilty by a jory of his peers. Doesn't the will of the People mean anything to the right wing, anymore?

    September 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Terry Hull

    The original conviction was a bit surprising, given the influence available to the man. This, however, comes as no shock at all. It IS, after all, Texas.

    September 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Excuse me.. GOP corruption... Do the names Charlie Rangle and Eddie Bernice Johnson ring any bells with you democrats? Both investigated for Ethics violations and found guilty at some level and yet are still on the job

    September 19, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. iceload9

    It's good to be connected. Wished they would just codify the law for the rich and connected.

    September 19, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. teamski

    I find it interesting that Fox News doesn't say a word about this but are more than happy to attempt to scandalize anything close to Obama. Impartial and fair, right?

    September 19, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. mhub

    Smells like political payoff.

    September 19, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. chieftrainer

    I find it rather amusing about the comments with stories like this. It doesn't matter if the person in question is liberal/conservative/democrat/republican. Pretty much the gist of the average comment is "Typical , this guy should be in prison/impeached/voted out (etc). He is from , so what do you expect? Those stupid morons who voted for him should leave the country! They are un-American!"

    (No copyright filed for. Feel free to copy to use as a template for the next opposition party article)

    September 19, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Tcikers

    So he finally bribed and bought his way out to freedom!

    September 19, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Texan

    Judges in Texas are elected. This would explain how he was acquitted.

    September 19, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. ROSIE

    Well at this rate they will say that Obama was a great President in about 10 years.

    September 19, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. lcleejr

    it only took 7 years to have the republican party to have tom delays criminal activity covered up. he was the poster boy for the religious right until his criminal behavior was discovered. this is the payback for bill Clinton buddy sandy bergers criminal activity that went nowhere.

    September 19, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. US Ministers of Defence

    No surprise and shouldn't be news. They should just have acquitted off the bat and save money; politicians get special treatment and are NOT held to the same laws that we're.

    September 19, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. dale2

    Yeah I'm sure it was the "prayer".

    September 19, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  17. L_Hill

    It's interesting how much hate it engenders on these boards when the due process rules get applied not only to accused street criminals but to Republicans as well.

    September 19, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. jamie

    Rich get richer, the poor poorer. Money will buy you out of anything.

    September 19, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. 7734100

    Surprised it went to trial. DeLay has mucho denaro and political friends!

    He was a scammer.

    September 19, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Jon's

    I think its funny how liberals are jumping all over this. He may very we'll be guilty as sin, but Holder even said he was surprised by the conviction because his office couldn't find any wrong doing based on state or federal law. I'm not sure how exactly the law is written, in Texas or in DC, but corporations and special interest groups have influenced elections for decades. It is a daily occurrence on both sides of the aisle. The thing that is funny about liberals getting so riled up over this is that corporations take their profits from commerce and donate to politicians, but unions have used federal funds, ie tax dollars, to fatten liberal coffers. In 2009 the UAW put their foot down on the auto industry bailout. They knew that if bankruptcy was part of the bailout plan that the contracts would have to be renegotiated, causing the UAW to lose a ton of money. In turn for Obama nixing the bankruptcy option, they took some of the billions they got from the bailout to donate back into Obama's superpac. Not to mention they have influenced elections for decades themselves. So has the pipe fitters union, electrical union, and the long shoremen union. If you don't like what a corporation stands for and who they endorse, you have the option of not buying their product or services. The UAW used our tax dollars, republican and democrat, to fatten Obama's coffer. None of us got a say so in that.

    September 19, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. patw210001

    Always good when criminals use legal loop holes and technicalities on appeal to go free.

    September 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. dave

    freaking insane. the guy was convicted by a jury of his peers.. which is saying something in a state where almost everyone is a republican.... Combined with that .. .the guy didnt even do any jail time.. a normal person would have never gotten anything close to this kind of latitude.

    September 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. churchstate

    What a bunch of crap. How often does something like this happen to normal people?

    They are all crooked

    September 19, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. Nicolas Olivier

    What happens in Texas, stays in Texas I guess. They have their own rules there. From the prosecution to the acquittal.

    September 19, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Bob

    Don't let that bro buy an AR shotgun!

    September 19, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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