September 19, 2013

Court throws out conviction of ex-U.S. House leader DeLay

DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison, but his sentence was on hold while his case made its way through the appellate process.

The Associated Press

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In this Jan. 10, 2011 photo, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay leaves jail after posting an appeals bond in Austin, Texas.

AP

"The jury's questions to the trial judge ... point to the lack of evidence showing that the funds involved in the transaction were the proceeds of criminal activity," Goodwin wrote.

DeLay did not shy from the spotlight during his legal fight. He was a contestant on ABC's hit television show "Dancing with the Stars" in 2009, and he runs a consulting firm in suburban Houston.

Late Thursday afternoon, DeLay was spotted on the floor of the U.S. House where he once yielded power. He told a reporter that when his conviction was overturned, some lawmakers had wanted to him to come by.

"Now that I'm acquitted, I can step out and stir things up," DeLay joked. When asked what he could now do that he couldn't do after being convicted, he said he could travel to Canada and get a concealed weapons permit.

DeLay said earlier Thursday that the case and conviction hadn't been a burden.

"I'm not saying it was easy to go through," DeLay said. "On the other hand, if you read the ruling (it says) this is an outrageous criminalization of politics. ... In the ruling they say I should have never even been charged, much less indicted."

DeLay's attorney, Brian Wice, said he was confident DeLay would win again if prosecutors pursue an appeal.

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