Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s conviction for money laundering was overturned in a Texas appeals court today.
DeLay’s acquittal comes via documents released by Texas’s Third Court of appeals, saying the evidence was “legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions.” The court’s 2-1 majority decided to “reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal,” meaning DeLay could not be retried.
The original 2010 convictions for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering came when the Texas Republican allegedly helped funnel corporate money through the Republican National Committee to Texas candidates for the 2002 election. Originally sentenced to three years in prison, the 67-year-old congressman’s sentence was on hold during the appeals process.
DeLay’s attorney, Brian Wice, described him as “ecstatic.” He acknowledged that the state could appeal to the Texas Criminal Court of Appeals, but was confident in another victory should that come to pass.
“I’m hoping with today’s victory, he will be able to resume his life as he once knew it,” Wice told the Associated Press.
DeLay’s former life saw him as one of the most powerful Republicans in the nation, representing Texas’s 22nd congressional district from 1984 until resigning in 2005 amid the allegations. From 2003-2005, he served as House Majority Leader, second only to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. After publishing his book — No Retreat, No Surrender: One American’s Fight — in March 2007, DeLay was next seen on the national stage appearing on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars.