A Travis County jury today found former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay guilty of political money laundering charges relating to a corporate money swap in the 2002 elections.
The verdict came down five years after DeLay was forced to step down as the second most powerful Republican in the U.S. House. The charges also led DeLay to resign from his Sugar Land congressional seat in 2006.
DeLay was accused of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. On the conspiracy charge, DeLay faces a sentence of two to 20 years in prison and five to 99 years or life in prison on the money laundering count.
More reaction from me and others as it rolls in, but as I have previously mentioned his chances are much better on appeal.
Update: Matt Angle, Lone Star Project ...
Whatever punishment that DeLay ultimately receives, Texans continue to suffer from his crimes. Just as DeLay planned, the Texas Legislature and the Texas Congressional Delegation reflect the most partisan, narrow minded and mean-spirited views in our society.
From Louie Gohmert’s bizarre rants to Joe Barton’s unbending defense of corporate negligence to Pete Sessions’ blind and befuddled partisanship, the Texas Congressional Delegation distorts public service into partisan extremism.
The DeLay legacy is also reflected in Joe Straus’s contributions to corrupt Republican House members and in Leo Berman’s hateful rants.
Unfortunately, Tom DeLay has left behind a Republican Party where loyalty is measured by the degree to which Members are willing to defame national leaders, champion extreme right-wing causes and deny opportunity to middle-class Texans.
“Today's ruling shows that the culture of corruption Tom DeLay created in Washington went a few too many dance steps beyond the pale of American politics. We should remember, though, that this trial is not just about $190,000 that Tom DeLay stands guilty of illegally laundering into Texas politics. At its root, Tom DeLay's actions were designed to gerrymander Texas voters for his own personal power grab. As we approach what should be the once-per-decade ritual of redistricting, Texans deserve to have districts drawn that will allow them to all have an equal voice rather than a map drawn by partisan hacks designed to skew political power.
In the pursuit of power and with disregard for our democracy, Tom Delay damaged Texas and this country in a way that will be felt for years to come. This decision makes it clear that justice can still be delivered and we must do everything in our ability to assure abuses of our electoral system do not happen again.”
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