Tom DeLay Conviction Overturned by Texas Court
19 September 13
Former U.S. House Majority Leader and GOP heavyweight Tom DeLay. (photo: AP)
exas appellate court has overturned the conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for allegedly scheming to influence Texas state elections with corporate money, his attorney told several news organizations early Thursday.
A three-judge panel voted 2-1 to overturn the conviction, calling the evidence "legally insufficient," according to the majority ruling. The decision formally acquits DeLay of all charges, but could still be appealed by the government.
DeLay, 66, was in Washington, meeting with prayer group at a Capitol Hill townhouse, when he heard the news.
"We were all basically on our knees praying and my lawyer calls and says you're a free man," he said.
DeLay was convicted in 2010 for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by funneling corporate money to various candidates. Prosecutors said that the money helped the GOP win control of the Texas House and that the majority then pushed through a DeLay-organized congressional redistricting plan that sent more Republicans to Congress. Those maps have since been challenged by the Justice Department for unfairly drawing minority communities out of certain districts. READ MORE