August 16th, 2010
04:32 PM ET
12 years ago

Ex-Rep. Tom DeLay says long-running investigation ends with no charges

Washington (CNN) - The long-running federal criminal investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has been closed, and no charges will be brought, DeLay said Monday.

"I'm pretty thrilled; I'm very happy for my family, they don't have to go through this anymore" DeLay told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview for The Situation Room.

The Justice Department, as is standard practice, declined any comment on the closing of the probe by its Office of Public Integrity after six years.

DeLay said his legal team had received word from the Justice Department last week.

"I never did meet with anyone from the Justice Department, even informally," DeLay told reporters Monday in a conference call. "They never contacted me throughout the process. They didn't have anything."

The Texas Republican said he had turned over more than 1,000 documents and all of his computers to federal investigators, and had instructed his aides to fully cooperate with the investigation.

DeLay was under investigation for his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials. Abramoff admitted defrauding Native American tribal clients of millions of dollars for help in gaining casino licenses.

DeLay insisted Monday that he had informed Abramoff that "our relationship is over" when he learned of Abramoff's plans for casinos aboard cruise ships. He also told reporters that during a visit to a casino on a Choctaw reservation he was "disgusted" when he saw a long line of baby carriages lined up while parents were gambling at 11:30 p.m.

DeLay's legal troubles are not over. He still faces a charge in Texas relating to campaign fundraising. The Travis County prosecutor has charged DeLay with illegally funneling corporate campaign contributions through the Republican National Committee to Texas Republican candidates in 2002.

DeLay says he is currently assisting the Tea Party movement with fundraising by making personal phone calls. He says he still is operating a consulting firm with "both corporate and conservative clients."

While DeLay was celebrating Monday, the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington blasted the development.

"It's a sad day for America when one of the most corrupt members ever to walk the halls of Congress gets a free pass," said Executive Director Melanie Sloan.

Filed under: Justice Department • Tom DeLay
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. GOP = Scorched Earth Politics

    That's just wrong. DeLay clearly was cheating the system and knew what he was getting into with Abramoff. Ney had to go to jail but DeLay gets rewarded with lucrative television contracts and walks? How is that fair?

    August 16, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. GOPvs USA

    Gotta love it!

    The guy writes a book entitled: "No Retreat, No Surrender"

    And then quits congress!!!

    LOVE the hypocrisy there Tom!

    August 16, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Naqib

    The GOP began the investigation... they aren't afraid to look at their own. On the other hand see Rangel (two/three years to even start). The Dems didn't control things until 2006... easy to remember as that was the last good economic year we've had... been pretty much in the toilet since they took office. Although they let the investigation continue for four years... while doing nothing about Rangel... but that is par for the course.

    August 16, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  4. Keith in Austin

    Rangle and Waters will maintain their seats according to DNC and self-policing House Ethics Committee. The GOP made Delay resign which he did for the good of the Nation. Therein is just another example of how Republicans and Democrats differ and their tolerance of unethical behavior of elected officials! Enough said!

    August 16, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. they call me "tater salad"

    Looks to me like someone bought someone off..........Typical Republicans!!!

    August 16, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  6. Jim

    I am interested in Rangel & Waters also. Bet they don't try to string them out 6 years to ruin them financially. Probably will not even ding that gargantuan government pension. Crime pays for Democrats.

    August 16, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. MikeH

    Tom DeLay's Scotland Golfing Buddy and partnier in crime, Jack Abramoff went to jail rather than testifying against DeLay.

    Tom DeLay being investigated by RepubliKlan-appointed Texas-based prosecuters, what did you expect, equal justice for all?

    America is doomed if the RepubliKlans ever sieze power, they are going to gut the Constitution, end public education, and institute Christian Sharia law.

    August 16, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  8. Greg

    Gee, too bad he wasn't a black congressman or he'd actually have to answer to it.

    August 16, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  9. Clwyd

    I think Tom knows the truth and will have to live with it. The truth has already ruined his reputation and standing in the party. They dumped him because they know the truth . Not what money can buy!

    August 16, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. woody

    HE should be put in jail with scotter libby.

    August 16, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Jack Abramhoff went to jail for DeLay and was released in June, so what a coincident there are no charges. Just like Scooter Libby went to jail for Dick Cheney. The real criminals never get time because they always have a fall guy.

    August 16, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Susan in NC

    Money still talks and DeLay is still a crook! You can take that to the bank!

    August 16, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. hobart

    Wow. Anything goes. I guess Charlie, Maxine and Rod have nothing to worry about. Sad.

    August 16, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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