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. mas

    One word–JOKE!

    September 19, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  2. jimi.

    ireuel: Sorry, no. ALL Elected Officials do not partake in gerrymandering. This same line was used to excuse Nixon. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now.
    Do some research, and you'll find that Republicans are overwhelming guilty of this behavior... and Delay is among the worst of them.

    September 19, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. elucidated1

    Tom DeLay, the face of the GOP and one big reason why Republicans got beat in recent contests. I say make him the poster boy for Republicans. What can possibly go wrong?

    September 19, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Really?

    And this exactly why Capitalism and Democracy don't mix what a joke.

    September 19, 2013 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. jimi.

    ireuel: Sorry, no. ALL Elected Officials do not partake in money laundering. This same line was used to excuse Nixon. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now.

    September 19, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Ron Sampson

    This system is a joke.

    September 19, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  7. ray

    what do you expect peopel??????????he is white and lives in texas. close closed

    September 19, 2013 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  8. Washington Nearsider

    Where does he go to get his reputation back?

    September 19, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Chris

    Its like Blago in Illinois. DeLay crossed the wrong people and they crushed him. No he is getting a second chance to play nice. Blago will be the same thing....he crossed the wrong people, went to jail and will get a new trial or similar...that's the system

    September 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. mcwreiole

    There never was any proper evidence of DeLay's wrong doing. His only fault was that he was one of the most powerful Congressmen, if not the most powerful. This did not sit well with the opposition and they found a way to get rid of him. They never had proof, but like with so many things they do, if you sling enough mud, then maybe some of it will stick to the the meantime they can tie him up for years with nothing more than accusations.

    September 19, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. NOVA703

    What a surprise. Never thought he would serve time. The rich and connected always find a loop hole.

    September 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  12. The Baumer

    @D.CLARK – Either you are thick as brick or related to the Delay family. Possibly both. The man was and is a total crook – being in the public eye had nothing to do with it. Lets not forget Delay was the other Jack Abramoff, accused of money laundering, heck he even bent over for some russion oil execs. He's a self-serving parasite – only reason this got thrown out is due to some of the original judges preceding over his case had been put into their bench by him in the first place... And he was praying at a chapel when he got the call? Give me a break...

    September 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  13. ditdahdit

    So a jury finds him guilty and a couple of soon-to-be-comfortably-retired judges say it ain't so. Texas, a whole 'nother planet.

    September 19, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. N

    Justice DeLayed is justice denied.

    September 19, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Wake Up Call

    If you think this is restricted to just republicans... you need to wake the hell up. Both side are guilty of this and it is people like you (who pick "their side" to root for) what allows this behavior to go on. Like it is some sort of sports team or something. Come on. No? Here you go: Jessie Jackson Jr. stole a million in campaign contributions, at least Delay was just funneling it. William Jefferson, 90K in his freezer.. Jim Traficant 10 counts of financial corruption.. Frank Ballance money laundering/mail fraud... Thomas Porteous , bribing govt officials. Webster Hubbell (attorney general) fraud... Walter R. Tucker, tax evasion... Carl C. Perkins, check kiting... the list goes on and on. Guess what... all democrats.

    There is about an equal number of republicans on this list too. So you need to stop placing blame on one side, when clearly it is not deserved. If you want to see change in politics, stop turning a blind eye to YOUR PARTY and acknowledge they should all be on the street looking for a new job.

    September 19, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Neil Hunt

    –and so it goes in good ol' Texas–where –as is usual- "Justice 'Delay'd' –Is Justice Denied!!"

    September 19, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. CHUCK

    TRAVESTY! The good old boys in Texas let there unsavory cuzzin off the hook..these types stick together..maybe its the filth that oozes out of them like pus that keeps them bound together like molasses.

    September 19, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Yogi Berra

    They're all crooks.

    September 19, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. kurtinco

    Was there ever any doubt? Rich white men never pay the consequenses for their actions.

    September 19, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. cbp

    Mr. DeLay did not follow the rules. The question is not what should the Republicans do p, rather, it is imperative that each member of Congress must follow the rules and be as honest as humanly possible. Right now that is not the case. Big money is influencing many Senators and Representatives. People go to Washington to serve their country and somehow they become more wealthy than they ever were. How does that happen? Then they base their votes on the wishes of their backers even though it may not be the will of the people. Some egos have grown tremendously and they have now decided that their election was far more important than the election of Barack Obama. They need a dose of reality.

    September 19, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    Data Driven


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

    How much proof do you need? "ireuel" is obviously talking about politicians they are familiar with....conservatives.

    September 19, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Gary

    Wheres Darrell Issa when you need him?

    September 19, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Eagle0432

    Fun watching the libs swallow their tongues and spin their heads off. Corzine belongs in jail but no outrage from the libs!

    September 19, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Washington Nearsider

    Where does he go to get his reputation back?
    Are you kidding me? CPAC 2014. He'll be greeted like a hero.

    September 19, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Steven

    Fopr thos eup there slamming the GOP, actually NO, you are wrong, the problem is all on The Democrats who through out All of traceable time and since the party's inception, done 100% of Nothing other than spend million upon millions of your Tax Dollars on meetings in which the outcome has never been anything other than Non Action and they have given most of it to terrorist Nations such as Pakistan under the guise it was for infrastructure when it in fact was used for 6 years to Hide Bin Laden, who was then Captured because of the work done by The CIA and the Navy Seals without any input what so ever from the Democrats and Obama who Lied through his teeth and took credit for Killing him. !!!

    Each day that goes by, every single Misled or otherwise Democrat supporter makes your country that much more weak and back sliding and dishonest !!!

    September 19, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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