DeLay conviction overturned
September 19th, 2013
11:22 AM ET
1 year 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. Richard Miller

    I guess $200K can buy a lot in Texas these days, even judges.

    September 19, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  2. Jackie Rawlings

    With enough Judges on the take finally another criminal gets off as remember his partner did jail time for the same crime. But Texas is different and we see the Judges they have like former Judge Al Gonzales who turned Attorney General and quickly broke the law. Then we see a mental case Rep. Gohmert a former Judge is needs mental help for his insanity.

    September 19, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  3. amazed

    what does it take to put a crooked politician in jail these days?

    September 19, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "but Obama violates our constitution and my God given natural rights on a daily basis and noone does a thing"

    Support that conclusion with a coherent argument using facts and evidence. Ready? Go!

    *crickets*

    September 19, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  5. DocHollywood

    Good old Texas. If you have enough money, and power, and influence you can overturn just about anything. They had enough evidence to convict him, but "insufficient to sustain DeLay's convictions".....No wonder politicians consider themselves above the law.

    September 19, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  6. vind

    Is it worst 8 years of Obama or worst 12 yrs of Bush's, Junior pushed back by 100 yrs, dude worst history of US is having Bush not Obama

    September 19, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  7. Todd

    Hmmm, well, that is indeed interesting. It seems like a judicially political decision on the surface. Anyone who wears a suit and tie usually has a different set of rules!

    September 19, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. CLT

    Well now, this is a huge surprise. lol

    September 19, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Etta Mae

    One more example of Republicans cutting deals for Republicans. This is Texas, after all, wherein crime is not crime if a republican judiciary says it isn't. Even if it WOULD be in any other state in the union.

    Texas is like it's own little planet. A planet with reverse reality. What you see as wrong becomes right here. What you see as criminal becomes legal here. Black is white, up is down, left is right and right is wrong. An amazing state.

    September 19, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. yogi

    Only in Texas.....

    September 19, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. LI_Bri

    ""but Obama violates our constitution and my God given natural rights on a daily basis and noone does a thing"

    Support that conclusion with a coherent argument using facts and evidence. Ready? Go!"

    Obama signed the NDAA which gives the government the authority to dent Due Process.

    September 19, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Rescapco

    Wow must be really upsetting to progressives. What about Whitewatergate, Monica Lewisnski (I didn't have sex with that woman) and Begahzi. Oh I almost forgot about the 'red line'. Hillary 2016.

    September 19, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. realitybites

    Prancercize

    .....................Looking forward to seeing who Obama pardons at the end of the worst 8 years in American History.

    I'm sorry but Obama wasn't president from the late 90's to the worst financial collapse in American History in 2007 (not to mention a recession b/c of the .com bust and two extremely expensive wars waged on a credit card after we had managed to get a balanced budget and go through a surplus in a mater of 2 yrs. Remember much?

    September 19, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Larry B.

    Best judges money can buy down there in Texass. Just proves the point that you can get any sort of justice you want if you have enough money and influence. A true mockery of American Justice. It sickens me.

    September 19, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. bhiner

    Oh please. If the court does something that agrees with your liberal world view... like I don't know... Roe -v- Wade, then justice is served, blah blah blah. But if the court rules that someone did not do what you would like to think he did... then the court MUST be corrupt. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Hint: It's not the rest of the world... it's... (rythmes with "crew").

    September 19, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  16. mole man

    Surprise a texas court did not find a texas politician guilty. Please oh please texas grow a set and become your own country after you have returned all Federal Government money. We would gladly close any base in texas if you will just go away

    September 19, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. janice

    This is terrible! Not only did he gerrymander political districts, but he was heavily involved in sweat shops in the South Pacific. All the time getting cheap hair cuts at the Congressional barber shop. What a sleaze.

    September 19, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. jamesaschmidt

    In other words, his money paid off the judges so he could get his conviction tossed. Gotta love the politicians and the legal system. If you have money like idiot DeLay you get off and those without money get screwed. All the politicians and the justice system need to be taken out!

    September 19, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. texasgreenacres

    OMAR got it right good ol boys helping a good ol boy

    September 19, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Susan

    Conviction overturned? Bought and paid for!! What a joke! The man is a criminal and belongs in jail!

    September 19, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Steve Newman

    Guess it is back to Dancing with the Stars.

    September 19, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    is that an 'activist judge'?

    September 19, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  23. sammy750

    This is the RESULT of the Conservative Republicans taking control of the Court system. All over the nation convictions are being overturned by a FRAUD Republican Justice system. This is serious when politics overrides a criminal.

    September 19, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Larry L

    We have become the most crooked state in the U.S. – run entirely by Republicans sold-out to big oil. Governor "Oops" operates a strictly pay-to-play state. It is time for the feds to step in to put some folks in jail.

    September 19, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. hatmonger

    The law in 3D: Delay, dissemble, deflect.

    September 19, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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