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. Bubba

    The GOP takes care of its own, and Texas is the largest example of GOP CORRUPTION.

    September 19, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  2. tffl

    The district court overruled the jury on their judgement of the evidence in the trial? I was under the impression that absent misconduct, it wasn't an appeals court's role to judge the evidence. If the appeals court can just summarily reject a jury's finding, it seems to make having juries a bit silly...

    September 19, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. tony

    If only that state would secede. . . please!

    September 19, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Lee

    How strange that a politician be treated differently than everyone else. Our government is as bad, if not worse, than other countries' governments.

    September 19, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Tychi

    and another Texas criminal goes free. The morals of our Congressmen are nonexistent.

    September 19, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  6. Guest

    God bless Texas where politicians are above the law, inbreeding is rampant, and judges can still be bribed.

    September 19, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. craig

    Horrible day for this country when this criminal can have his case overturned. Way to go Texas – way to show some real integrity and stick to your guns. Everyone who followed the case and read the particulars could see the guy was guilty as can be and yet he skates now,.

    September 19, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Jason

    Some people have a great deal of power....some don't. In this case the court was absolutely biased. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is a case in point.

    September 19, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  9. general tso

    @sniffit Why is it that you are bothered only by the Repubs? Are you willfully blind to the Dems misdeeds, or just that partisan?

    September 19, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. Lee

    So sad that the only thing we as a people can do in an "attempt" to fix our government is vote. They are all crooks, no matter what the party.

    September 19, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. DNA

    So you have a trial with a jury but another court can just ignore it??? So much for a justice system. More like a way for rich to keep their buddies at their backs.

    September 19, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  12. Lee

    The Feds are just as bad, Larry.

    September 19, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  13. CueBallSTL

    @Bubba: "The GOP takes care of its own, and Texas is the largest example of GOP CORRUPTION."

    I guess you're really proud of Illinois, then...

    September 19, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  14. Gary Phillips

    The judicial system in this country is no better than any banana republic.

    September 19, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  15. Ron

    There might not be any politicians of any stripe in Washington that aren't guilty of money laundering.

    September 19, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  16. Jim

    So it appears that the Obama administration aand the TXSC agree...

    September 19, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Seriously...

    He was PRAYING in the Chapel TO GOD when the Republican courts overturned his sentence... "Dear Lord, I lied and I cheated BUT i've seen the error of my ways–PLEASE let me become a LOBBYIST- please God Almighty, let me have a cushy job and lots of new cars and houses and really good wine... I am a sinner- BUT i have excellent connections– CALL me if I can ever you help you back..... Thank you Lord..."

    I think i am going to vomit ...

    September 19, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  18. mom

    @tfft I was under the impression that absent misconduct...

    The thing to take away here is that the rules go out the window when you have enough money or are polically connected enough. Then all the "but it should be this way" goes out the window.

    September 19, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Michael Creel

    The complete ignorance of these comments make it sadly apparent that there is little hope for our countries future.

    September 19, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Phil in KC

    "He said he felt vindicated,"
    The judge just said he thought there was inadequate proof – it doesn't mean he didn't do it. What I don't understand is why there wasn't a new trial ordered instead of an outright acquittal. Does the rule of double jeopardy apply? Oh wait – I know – because the judge was one of his buddies.

    September 19, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. 66Biker

    I'm not the least bit surprised. Anyone who is doesn't know how things really are in this country.

    September 19, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Tom Sickler

    This is typical of Washington politicians. Corruption breads on both sides of the aisle. No one seems to be accountable for their actions. If there was not enough evidence why and how was he convicted in the first place? Its time to get rid of the Republicans and Democrats and elect people based on their ability to do the job and not on which set of values they align with. Until then we are all hostages to our own government. The good ole boys will continue to line their pockets with the American working man's sweet equity. If I had done the same thing as Tom D, I would have already been out AFTER serving my 3 year sentence by now. WAKE UP FOLKS

    September 19, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. LoboLoco

    He will run for office again. thats what they do.

    September 19, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. TruthandConsequence

    Naysayers and anti-Republican nits are not reading the article, the Obama Administration Justice Department completed its own investigation in 2010 without filing any charges. That would mean there is no evidence he broke Federal Laws and a Texas appeals court found evidence he broke Texas laws are legally insufficient. That would then cast aspersions on the court that used "legally insufficient" evidence to find him guilty in 2006.

    September 19, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. qularknoo

    we know he is and was guilty ... even if there isn't enough evidence .... he is GOP. Face it CNN liberals .... all politicians are in it for themselves Dems and Reps ... and we are too ... we keep electing the ones that promise us a chicken in every pot ... especially when they promise us someone else will buy the chicken and the pot and the house for us.

    September 19, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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