Former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay had his 2010 conviction on money laundering charges overturned today by a Texas appeals court.
DeLay had previously been convicted for allegedly violating rules against donating corporate money to political campaigns. In Texas, it is against state law to give corporate money directly to political campaigns.
In 2002, the former Congressman allegedly used his Texas-based political action committee to send a $190,000 check to an arm of the Republican National Committee. The RNC then turned around and donated that same amount to seven Texas House candidates.
In their case, Texas prosecutors said the end result of the scheme was the GOP took over the Texas House, enabling them to pass a redistricting plan that sent more Republicans to Congress from Texas in 2004, thus strengthening the party’s power.
The appeals court, however, said prosecutors “failed in its burden to prove that the funds that were delivered to the seven candidates were ever tainted.” They issued a 2-1 ruling that reversed the trial court’s judgement and acquitted him.
DeLay was originally arrested and charged with money laundering in 2005, and soon after stepped down from the Majority Leader post. In 2006, he resigned from Congress. Since then, DeLay has written a book and appeared on the 9th season of Dancing With The Stars, where he was eventually forced to withdraw due to injury.
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