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. Alpha Deus

    Texas justice, you go to your death when your innocent and get off when your guilty...damn..that state needs a good ole shuffle from ignorant voters to some resemblance of justice and reality...damn, Texas..dun some educatin for yo peoples...and send yo leaders to prison..we does it here in good ole massachusetts

    September 19, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  2. ireuel

    These charges were political from the beginning. ALL Elected officials were and are doing exactly what Delay was doing. If some here would of read the whole article they would of seen the part where the Congressional investigation was closed with not findings. Do I approve of this behavior? NO. Oh yeah both Democrats and Republican play the same game. People who follow either of these parties are just lemmings.

    September 19, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    A "source" said that DeLay was praying in the House chapel as his phone rang that his conviction was overturned...pfffft! LOL!!! Why not just say that DeLay was praying when God himself called to say that he had overturned the conviction. Freaking Republicans...

    September 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. Anon

    Why not? Everyone in Texas goverment is a criminal anyway.

    September 19, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. joebob

    Tom DeLay is the typical example of a political DIRT BAG tampering with the political system to the point that he went to jail for it. Even if he had the money to pay enough lawyers to finally get a judge to overturn his conviction it doesn’t make him ANY LESS OF A DIRT BAG. Guys like him are what’s WRONG with Washington NOT what’s right about it.

    September 19, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. James

    I guess he bought the right judges the second time around!

    September 19, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. David

    Money talks and crooks walk. As usual.

    September 19, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. ollie

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE me some progressive tears.

    September 19, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. mark

    Both parties do not hate America...That's the GOP.

    September 19, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Big_D

    So a Texas politician was cleared by people appointed by Texas politicians he got elected. I guess that just proves that Texas is still the crooked state we always knew it was.

    September 19, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Big dude

    Ahhh..perfect.. Texass takes care of its so many ways. We really should give that state back to Mexico, they don't care about law and order either..perfect fit.

    September 19, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Big_D

    The good news is that the poor quality of education in Texas is producing the easily duped fools they need to keep the corrupt power structure in place.

    September 19, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Rememberwhatbushdid

    The real lessons are two-fold. First, money should be taken out of the political process. No t.v. advertising. Huge mailers. Nuisance phone calls. If a politician wants to he heard he/she will have to participate in debates on television or in the newspapers. That will take the corruption out of our current, horrendous political system. Second, money gets these judges elected/ who do you think they're going to protect using the courts? Remember that Supreme Court ruling about corporations being "people" that is now tearing down democracy? Did you know Scalia and Thomas both once worked for the Koch brothers? The American middle class has only itself to blame for being led around by the nose and believing all these ads on television. Lambs to the slaughter of our own Republic. Now what do you think?

    September 19, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. orange sunshyne

    Overturned by a court in Texas!
    He should have been tried in DC.

    September 19, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    another court bought off.

    September 19, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. Va. Voter

    Texas- best justice money can buy. You can be sure the court would have found no problem with the evidence had he not been a former republican congressman.

    September 19, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. amigay

    The court didn't say he didn't do it, just that there was insufficient proof (according to them).

    September 19, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. Bill Peck

    The rich get rich and the poor get poorer

    September 19, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. jherad

    R.I.P. Rule of Law.

    September 19, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. G.R.R.

    just amazing the number of politicians and judges that you can buy in texas these days.

    September 19, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Austin

    Looks like he channeled those $200,000 in another direction.

    September 19, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. rolph

    Only in Texas
    What a travesty

    September 19, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  23. Logic N LA

    I see Texas style justice is in full swing once more.
    Ireuel- no- not all politicians do this or there would be even more witch hunts. He flagrantly broke the law AND eventually admitted it. This conviction being overturned was on a technicality, nothing more.

    September 19, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Data Driven


    "ALL Elected officials were and are doing exactly what Delay was doing."


    September 19, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. tednugent'sdiapers

    Just one more reason to get rid of this goober state.

    September 19, 2013 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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