September 27th, 2013
09:46 AM ET
7 months ago

Tom DeLay: 'I'll keep fighting'

(CNN) – Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who resigned amid scandal in 2006, said he's "coming back" now that his 2010 conviction for money laundering has been overturned.

DeLay also weighed in on the current showdown in Congress over the spending bill and debt limit.

"I know the Democrats thought they had me down and out, but I've been working through these eight years of being under this cloud," he said Friday on CNN's "New Day." "I'm coming back…I never left and I won't leave, and I'll keep fighting for what I believe in."

DeLay added he's working on a book called "Shut Her Down" about "constitutional revival."

Once one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, DeLay was convicted for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by trying to channel nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the state legislature.

But last week a Texas appellate court acquitted him, saying the evidence was "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's conviction."

Delay, who served more than two decades in the House before resigning, had been sentenced to three years in prison, but he never served any time.

"We've known all along this was a trumped up charge by a rogue district attorney in Austin, Texas, but we knew, once I got out of Travis County, that I would be exonerated and that's what's happening," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo.

Asked if there's a chance the acquittal will be appealed, DeLay's lawyer, Brian Wice, said it's more than possible.

"I think they'll have to. I think they've lost face. Anytime you take the kind of beating in the court of appeals that they took in a case in this magnitude, they're going to go as far as they can," he said

But he added he's "cautiously optimistic that the judges will see there's nothing about this case...that warrants their intervention as the state's highest court for criminal matters."

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.

DeLay also had some advice for his fellow Republicans in the House, as Congress tries to find a deal on preventing a government shutdown, and next month, raising the debt ceiling.

"My advice is hold firm, stick to your guns, stand strong, and you'll ultimately win," DeLay said.

DeLay was a close colleague of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich when Republicans took back the House in 1994 and oversaw the last government shutdown in 1995. While urging Republicans to stand strong, DeLay also argued against a shutdown in the current political climate.

He further hit back against the idea that Republicans suffered after the last shutdown.

"We won. We won the budget cuts we won it. We showed Bill Clinton that we'd take him off a cliff and we got welfare reform, balanced budget and we won seats in the next election," he said.

– CNN's Ashley Killough and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Tom DeLay
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Wake up People!

    Great. Another criminal coming to join the other obstructionists. And watch he'll have NO problem being elected to whatever job he wants.

    September 27, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Data Driven

    The title of DeLay's book is not surprising: "Shut Her Down". Republicans are not running the show, so, Shut Her Down!

    Ask yourself this morning: are you wearing Union blue, or butternut gray? Once upon a time, Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun waxed eloquently about "states' rights" and "strict adherence to the Constitution" as a cover to blow up a government that they didn't like. All the past is prologue.

    September 27, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Data Driven

    And look at DeLay sitting there in this picture, with his lawyer by his side.

    A Republican hero.

    September 27, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. The Real Tom Paine

    -"We won. We won the budget cuts we won it. We showed Bill Clinton that we'd take him off a cliff and we got welfare reform, balanced budget and we won seats in the next election," he said.
    ****************
    He was also there when they impeached him and lost seats in 1998, a virtually unprecedented loss. People did not reward the GOP for sticking to their guns, they rewarded them for working with the President to solve problems because he is the President.

    September 27, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    He further hit back against the idea that Republicans suffered after the last shutdown. "We won. We won the budget cuts we won it. We showed Bill Clinton that we'd take him off a cliff and we got welfare reform, balanced budget and we won seats in the next election," he said.
    ------------------------
    Winning seats probably had more to do with other factors than shutting down the government: i.e.; Monica Lewinsky. Reminds of people claiming that the Bush Tax Cuts created jobs and boosted the economy, while totally ignoring the fact that Bush-43 dramatically increased spending by 7-9% each and every year that he was in office.

    September 27, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. dannytelevision

    Gingrich and DeLay...mean and meaner. These guys wrote the book on acrimony. Inherit the wind DeLay...inherit the wind.

    September 27, 2013 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. MaryM

    DeLays battles are not over. Just because his Texas buddies helped him out this time., there is more problems for Delay in the future

    September 27, 2013 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. sonny chapman

    It was a 2-1 decision by two Repub. beholden judges who held that the State didn't prove to THEM that Delay used the million of $ in TX Politics( Wonder if any of their buddies got some of that $). A Jury believed it . Let's see how he does before the TX Supreme Ct. They make take their job a little more seriously.

    September 27, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. Anonymous

    "DeLay added he's working on a book called "Shut Her Down" about "constitutional revival."

    Scuttle bug is Bill O'Reilly is working on a new book too. O'Reilly says God recently woke him up in the middle of the night telling him to write a book on Jesus.

    September 27, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. kirk

    Proudly corrupted, and looky what money bought me y'all . Rick Scott and thus turd are very good at getting away with anything they want to

    September 27, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Warren

    The man is as guilty as they come. "saying the evidence was "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's conviction" olny makes him legally not guilty. I sure hope the DA's office pursues this.

    September 27, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. just saying

    a classic case of liberals and democrats using government resources to persecute and ruin the lives of their political opponents. these are the criminals that want your vote to put them in control of your lives. wake up america!

    September 27, 2013 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. TheObserver

    Well it's no big deal when professional sports players, lie, cheat, and steal, so why should it be different for the criminals in Washington? There are no consequences for anything if you're rich enough (see Cheney). We've already been given proof that multiple congressmen were using their laptops during house sessions to trade stocks using insider information that they just got 5 minutes earlier from one of the countless lobbyists that travel with complete freedom through the halls of Washington every day.

    In other, actually important news, climate change is real!!!! Wow, the last horse finally crosses the finish line. Why is it that any American with half a brain can see the need for legislation years before our elected leaders? Will we see all those blow-hard, ignorant-ass politicians who denied global warming apologize now? Of course not, they're already working on their next lie that enough people will buy to get votes.

    Like Churchill once said, 'America always does the right thing, but only after exhausting every other possibility first'.

    Apparently, we want to keep it going.

    September 27, 2013 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Tom DeLay was accused, charged, and convicted under Texas law. DeLay had seemed pretty guilty to me at the time. The cash contributions were well documented. In light of the "Citizens United" decision, what he did may, or may not, be considered a crime today. But, it doesn't change the fact that what he did was a crime, and his conviction should not have been overturned.

    September 27, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Greg in Arkansas

    "We showed Bill Clinton that we'd take him off a cliff and we got welfare reform, balanced budget"....????
    What happened, where is the balanced budget...???
    Two unfunded wars, tax cuts, prescription drug program.....guess that's not important as long as you "win" seats....

    September 27, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. GOP= Greed Over People (Party)

    Only in America

    September 27, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. Donna

    This whole thing was a politcal attack from start to finish. The Democrats had targetted Delay and it was all Democrats that prosecuted him. It was the judicial version of what the IRS did to the TEA party. Abuse of government agencies and the courts by the Democrats is wide spread.

    September 27, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. wendel

    just what we need one more crook. The republican party has turned into one big mess. They represent no one and have attracted every crackpot in the country . They are for everything that this country hates and will throw the whole US under the buss to get their way. Vote these creeps out. over 5 years of their nonsense . They make me sick.

    September 27, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    "i'll keep fighting" just doesn't cut it. That is what someone says who is fighting to do what they feel is right or justified or honorable. Recovering after a criminal conviction is trying to get your life together and back on track.

    September 27, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    Donna

    This whole thing was a politcal attack from start to finish. The Democrats had targetted Delay and it was all Democrats that prosecuted him. It was the judicial version of what the IRS did to the TEA party. Abuse of government agencies and the courts by the Democrats is wide spread
    ---

    kinda like the prosecution of the gov(?) of Alabama/Georgia by the tightie righties, yes???

    September 27, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  21. Larry in Houston

    This was NOT a "trumped up charge" by a rogue district attorney – It's the truth – why do u think the legislature down here is 99% republican ? lol

    "" trying to influence Texas elections by trying to channel nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the state legislature""

    That's why I say – that the gal down here, is going to have a very difficult time trying to run for Gov.

    September 27, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  22. Larry in Houston

    @ Donna – we will see – on all the things that you are spreading – once the 2014 mid-terms comes around – when your rich repub friends get re-elected, or not. I for one, think it may be a republican sweep, as long as the republicans can keep the voters that is under the age of 40 – from voting.

    September 27, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. old guy in West Virginia

    So DeLay's conviction has been overturned. No doubt he likes that . . . But the fact remains that he has been an ideologically-driven thug who was famous for his suppression of even mild dissent within the ranks of his own part, not to mention other nefarious political machinations. They didn't call him "The Hammer" for nothing. And that's the problem: at a certain point, every legislator is called upon to be a statesman, not just a partisan apparatchik or enforcer. Statesmanship is a quality absent in DeLay. He is the poster child for "Party before Country."

    September 27, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Pam from Iowa

    He is a criminal and always will be!
    Just because he bribed a judge in Texas does not change the fact that he is a criminal !

    September 27, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  25. Hector Slagg

    Aw,So,
    You vell sign up for Obama Care! Ve have ways! The Gestapo, uh sorry the IRS will track you down and sign you up! The Body Snatcher's will get you! It is Futile to resist! You must pay up now! What you have no job! That is no excuse! See your Nanny. What! Your Nanny left you! Too bad, you're on your own now. You were warned not to believe "Putin". So sorry.

    September 27, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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