August 16th, 2010
04:32 PM ET
10 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. Grrr-Awful-O

    CNN, please clarify: did he just "say" it or is it true?

    August 16, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Minnesotan

    Funny how all politicians get off with 'no charges,' regardless of party, eh?

    August 16, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    In Texas, you can buy your way out of anything, including crooked politics.

    August 16, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Lucullus

    Of course he wasn't charged with anything. When the hell has a republican, especially one from Texas ever been held accountable for his crimes? Delay was as corrupt as the day is long but don't expect the judicial system to punish him. Punishment for crimes is only for working people.

    August 16, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Jawsbanger

    I think that this man is a closet homosexual!

    August 16, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  6. David

    He's still the poster boy for all that is wrong with the GObP...

    August 16, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  7. Michael

    Money talks.

    August 16, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  8. Ancient Texan

    Now if the idiot District Attorney in Austin would drop the fake indictment of Delay on charges of violating a law, that didn't become law until a year later, Tom could start getting his good name back. The libs cannot play by the rules.

    August 16, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. stickywadd

    Jawsbanger, I think that u just might be RIGHT!!!

    August 16, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Eric

    What's that?
    The Summer of Recovery is DOA?
    Obama's numbers are in absolute freefall??
    Obama is polling at record lows for his presidency???
    Republicans are up 12 freaking points on the generic ballot???!

    Quick, run a Palin story!
    It's not working to distract America??

    Then dust off a Tom DeLay story!

    Something, ANYTHING! Just distract America from this failure that we the media helped to install!

    August 16, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. G

    De Lay's antics were political but legal....Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters on the other hand are clearly illegal and both should be out of congress and in jail. We need fewer extremists, fewer Ds and Rs....we need more moderates and independents. For now the best we can do is get more Republicans to balance out the Dems. But in the end we're probably better off if the government is 50/50.

    August 16, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Rob

    It appears there is a difference between Republicans and Dems. Repubs get accused, name dragged through the mud, drummed out of office... Then, found not guilty. Dems commit actual crimes, stay in office for years, all while proclaiming the moral authority, then found guilty and stay in office.

    August 16, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. jeff, alabama

    Just a waste of money and time by
    a bunch of vindictive head hunters.
    Much like the silly charges against
    Palin in Alaska. All were untrue
    and unwarranted. Two years and
    wasted money later, they have all
    been dropped. Just because of
    vindictive jealous wannabes.

    August 16, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  14. Eric

    "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.

    Melanie, sweetie, believe me... if the outright hostile leftist DOJ had something, ANYTHING, on Tom Delay... even a freaking parking ticket, don't you think they'd pursue it?

    The fact is, the DOJ is holding a hand full of odd cards, and not even a lowly pair of two's among them. Face facts... the DOJ set out on a witch hunt and didn't even get so much as a pointy hat or a broom stick. Get over it.

    Stupid br0@d.

    August 16, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. American Patriot

    This is the work of Mr. Eric holder head of the Justice department and appointed by Obama.

    Delay is the ultimate sleez with Carol Rove, Dick Cheney and the coward hiding from the media George W Bush.

    It is going to take a Revolution in this country to stop the corruption and restore the law


    August 16, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. Glenn Koons

    So after the Dems drove him out of the House, 5 yrs later, he is innocent. Wow. Justice sure works slowly for Republicans and conservatives in this nation , huh???? I wonder if Tom will ever go back into politics? Dems would love it but so might some Texans.

    August 16, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. loretta

    I cannot believe that this man, one of the most corrupt men to ever be in Congress was given a free pass. He should be in JAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 16, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Marie MD

    Not so fast. I am sure there are other things he can be charged with.

    August 16, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Yes, I suppose it is a "great day" for those who can skip out of responsibility and accountability. Ciminals and GOPers everywhere should be happy.

    Do you hear the relief in his statements? The guy is guilty as sin, and while he was in office and in power, he even BRAGGED about his underhanded dealings and DARED people to come after him. Well they did, and now like a chastised child he slinks off..... happy to avoid getting a spanking.

    Given that DeLay, the current gov., and the past gov. G. Bush himself were all freely elected by Texans, the EPA should do some serious contamination testing down there. Something is disfiguring the human genome in Texass.

    August 16, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. spencer akins

    How much worse for democarates and this administration can it get?
    They can't bring up DeLay now and you have the the Mosque outrage to the list of democrative failures: jobs, economy, bailouts, health care, immagration, deficit, stimulus etc.

    August 16, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. Naqib

    Just another Dem driven railroad job based on nothing...

    Let's see how Rangel and Waters come out... one of their own... so they wait years to even start looking.

    August 16, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. ja

    no elitist is ever charged

    August 16, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. republicans hate america

    well this is what happens a politician always get free passes in this country. At least it got him to resign even though it does not matter since the people that run this country and the world for that matter are corporations and not government

    August 16, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. FactCheck

    Ain't it amazing how millions of dollars in lawyer fees can tie up litigation until the prosecution doesn't want to deal with it anymore. DeLay is as innocent as O.J.

    August 16, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. Suval

    This is pretty awful if only because the former Senator will now think he needs to run again for public office. Spare us all! Just because there were no charges does not mean many of his actions were not on the shady side. This inability to find him guilty of serious wrong doing should give Maxine Waters and Charlie great hope!!!

    August 16, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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