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. Chip

    I wonder how much that cost Delay? Delay the government and any progress.

    September 19, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. John M

    I can't believe that no money changed hands to get this outcome. A crook is a crook, convicted or not.

    September 19, 2013 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. tmac

    well there is a surprise – the good ol' boys take care of each other

    September 19, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. PerryCountry

    I think this is just another reason why all the other states should vote Texas out of the union. My goodness, what an embarrassment to our great country. Perry wanted out a couple years ago, I say let these hicks form their own little ignorant nation and be done with them.

    September 19, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    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.

    I was going to suggest FOX News. CPAC works just as well, if not better.

    September 19, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  6. Lorraine Jacobson

    Good Good OL: Boys network.
    We common folk are left out of it

    September 19, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Jason B

    Good ole boy network does it again.....

    September 19, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Momeraths

    Enough Texas bashing.

    There are plenty of good people here, who have had enough of the corruption, greed and attacks on intellectualism. The case against Delay wasn't very strong, and you know a Washington Insider will never see the inside of a prison.

    Don't judge 30 million people by the actions of a few nuts. We are working hard to bring this state into the 20th century again.

    September 19, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. JOSH

    This guy and Ralph Reed both have been involved with slave labor and police state tactics in the Marianna islands and corrupt lobby actions...but they always seem to get away with it...

    September 19, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. David

    We have the finest democracy money can buy.

    September 19, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Fred Evil

    "He was praying in the House chapel when his phone rang and his lawyer told him the news, "
    I don't know whether to be sick because he will surely interpret this as some sort of blessing from his faux deity, or because an actual crook is getting off the hook.

    September 19, 2013 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Texas crooked politics prevails once again

    September 19, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. JD

    Oh my, I'm positive the liberals are all having high blood pressure issues today, Tom Delay's conviction over turned, and Michigan now has a bill that will require welfare recipients have to do community work to receive benefits.

    September 19, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. Tom 118

    Welcome to the United States of America, where justice is rendered irrespective of political influence or financial sway.

    September 19, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. pm Ohio

    Vindicated, that's like OJ saying he's not a murderer because his lawyers fooled a jury. No one is saying Delay is innocent, just that the evidence does not support the is that being vindicated? Everyone knows the GOP rigged elections in the 80's and 90's to ensure a majority in their House, so they could jerrymander the state ensuring only a couple liberals are elected and the rest of the state is safely GOP...a strategy the GOP has used accross the country...they can't win national elections, but can jerryrig all of the blue states by controlling the House during the census, andd therefor take over the US House of Reps. Now, the GOP, led by the Tea Party, are obstructing Government and will not govern at ideas to make anything better, just no...The Party Of NO is destroying our country. Delay is a crook and was tried and convicted by a jury of his peer, in a conservative some power brokers have funneled the case to a friendy judge and he gets off without spending one day in jail. Sick

    September 19, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. Jay Davis

    Judges are such crooks.

    September 19, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. rosethornne

    That's just disgusting.

    How much does a Texas district court judge cost?
    Do you get discounts if you buy a six pack of them?

    September 19, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    The judge that made this decision is tied to Delay. If Delay knew he wasn't guilty, he would never have resigned from politics, especially in Texas. And as far as Texas bashing is concerned, when this state started going Red, it started going down the tubes. Want proof? In 1976, Texas ranked anywhere from 10th to 13th in education depending on the organization making the determinations. Today, via all these agencies Texas is 49th or 50th. It's last in taking care of medical concerns for children. But, it's first in pimping for big oil.

    September 19, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Leonardo Scarpati

    What else do you wants when somebody wants to make a comment ,? you need to asked for address, date of birth ,social security, , if they are illegally , ;this getting worse than the famous "Gestapo" , Mr DELAY was the most corrupted politician in his time ,and he was guilty of every crime he committed.!!

    September 19, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. ritmocojo

    Is that really Travis County, or should it be Travesty County?

    September 19, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. cebundy

    Delay needs to go to jail. His was the brains behind the Gerrymandering and putting together the super-fund for Republicans. Had it not been for him, Texas could still be a blue state.

    September 19, 2013 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. Leonardo Scarpati

    Do you know what they called Mr DELAY , they called him THE HAMMER , because he beat up badly any politician who got in his way , he was a very bad man,, believe me, I have not seen anybody like him .

    September 19, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Kevin

    All it takes is one corrupt judge.... Sadly, we have dozens of them here in Texas.

    September 19, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  24. Valveone1

    Momerath, when 30 million people let a few tea-xns . Like Rick perry and Tom delay , represent the best that Texas has to offer. Then they are truly the best that Texas has to offer out of 30 million people.

    September 19, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. Anton Dubinski

    Next stop: Congress

    September 19, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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