(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.
who says money can't buy happiness ???
Who didn't see this one coming?
Why do they even bother to try fat cats like this jerk? The rich and powerful are above the law.
"He has been free on bail pending appeal of his conviction. " So he is convicted and sentenced to three years in jail but will never serve a single day? Only in Texas..
So now they can overturn the 50 year sentence on the guy who stole a rack of ribs too? No, oh yeah, I forgot, this is Texas, Tom is White and Rack of Ribs theif was Black ...... what a corrupt legal system we have.
*sigh* so much for justice in texas. and yes, i'm a texan.
How much did he funnel to the judge that overturned the conviction?
What? is this a Shock to anyone?? Money talks B.S walks.
Can't imagine why Republicans are against 'Activist Judges'. If it weren't for them, the whole corrupt lot of the GOP would be in jail, where they belong...
Wonder how much Rick Perry made off that?
This isn't bribery it's pure partisan politics. Texas ELECTS judges, and guess what party almost all of them are? If the courts hadn't found an excuse to overturn it then eventually Perry would have pardoned him. Disgraceful.
all corrupt politicians and mainline crooks get get-out-of-jail free cards and have for a very very long time. It is called corruption for a reason and money and friends in high places assures it.
What a political crock. He was so guilty of this that it smelled to high heaven. Our system has come down to one thing. Money and greed.
Or maybe the evidence wasn't legally sufficient - like about 90% of the street thugs that get bounced within an hour of arrest. Is it their money or power that gets them off? Curious.
American exceptionalism at work.
Hey CNN, how about posting the whole opinion from the court? Also: 1) investigate the political affiliation of those who overturned the conviction, and 2) investigate whether DeLay has ever helped any of these judges' own political campaigns by contributing or by appearing at events or by blurbs of support in voter pamphlets. Let's just rule out all the conspiracy theories, so that we don't have to believe that Tom's friends are simply returning the favor.
Knowing Texas, they will re-elect him to congress. Given the state congress is in right now, he should fit right in.
Free on bail to buy his way out of a jail term.
It doesn't matter if the conviction was overturned. We got him charged and ran him through court, costing him a bundle of money. His reputation is ruined and no one will hire him. That was our goal.
this man has been a conman for decades, why voters elect these kinds of bottom feeders beats me!
It's Texas...what do you expect? The same state that brought us George Bush and Rick Perry. They're all morons.
Only a matter of time before the Feds indict and re-convict him, Texan or not. As a matter of fact, there are a whole lot of Republican/Texans that might want to begin looking over their shoulders!.... :(
Money talks. Always.
Imagine that !!!! :)
As a Texan let me say that this not at all surprising...the Republicans have a strangle-hold on Texas and everyone down here knew that this was going to happen.