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Tom DeLay's Conviction Overturned

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of Former Congressman Tom DeLay for money laundering and conspiracy, finding the evidence insufficient to convict him. The reversal is an acquittal which means he cannot be retried. Nor will he have to serve his three year prison sentence.

An overview of his case from 2010 is here. Here's a Today Show video where he and his excellent trial lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, discuss the case.

Dick DeGuerin always predicted DeLay would never spend a night in jail. [More...]

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Tom DeLay's Lawyer Confident of Appeal Outcome

Dick DeGuerin, Tom DeLay's lawyer, is confident DeLay's conviction will be reversed on appeal. First there's the legal argument on the money laundering statute, which includes. [More..]

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Tom DeLay Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Former House Speaker Tom DeLay was sentenced today to three years in state prison for his conviction on money laundering charges.

Senior Judge Pat Priest sentenced him to the three-year term on the conspiracy charge. He also sentenced him to five years in prison on the money laundering charge but allowed DeLay to accept 10 years of probation instead of more prison time.

The judge granted his request to be freed on bail after he is booked at the county jail. At sentencing, DeLay told the judge he was innocent and the charges were politically motivated.

"I can't be remorseful for something I don't think I did," DeLay said.

The appeal will take months, if not years.

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Tom DeLay Convicted of Money Laundering

No happy Thanksgiving for Tom DeLay. The jury found him guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The penalty on one count is 2 to 20 and from 5 to 99 years on the other. He could also receive probation. Texas has jury sentencing, but DeLay previously opted for the judge to sentence him.

His attorney, Dick DeGuerin, says the verdict won't withstand appellate scrutiny:

Mr. DeGuerin said Mr. DeLay would try to convince an appeals court the money-laundering statute should never had been applied to the money swap — because the original donations were legal and also because the donations to the state candidates came out of a different account than the one in which the corporate donations were deposited. “It will never stand,” Mr. DeGuerin said.

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Tom DeLay Jury Has More Questions

Update: The jury has now asked for DeLay's interviews with reporters. The judge has told the lawyers to be prepared to work late tonight.

After prosecutors played the tape of the Wallace interview during the trial, DeLay said it told his side of the story so well that he didn’t need to testify. In the Statesman interview, DeLay said, “I could have stopped it, but why would I?” He added that he considered the money swap a legal transaction that both political parties had done in the past.

The Statesman says it's back to what DeLay know and when did he know it. Have they rejected his defense that the money swap was legal? [More...]

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Tom DeLay's Jury Asks Questions, Judge Thinks They Are Sidetracked

The jury in Tom DeLay's money laundering trial had a lot of questions for the judge today. The judge isn't happy. He thinks they are focusing on things outside the trial.

"I'm afraid you may be getting away from the decisions you must make," Priest told the jurors.

What kind of answer is that? Team DeLay views the questions as a good sign:

"They are zeroing in right on the weaknesses of the state's case," said Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's lead attorney.

[More...]

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Tom DeLay Jury Deliberations

The jury in Tom DeLay's Texas money laundering trial deliberated three hours today, and will be back tomorrow:

Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's lead attorney, restated what he had often said throughout the trial: that prosecutors had failed to prove the ex-lawmaker committed a crime and the money swap was legal.

Throughout his closing arguments, DeGuerin repeated one phrase in particular: no corporate money went to candidates in Texas. He even included the sentence — in bold, black letters — in a slide show he presented to jurors.

He also used his partisan politics theme: [More...]

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Jury Selection Begins for Tom DeLay's Money Laundering Trial

It only took five years to bring Tom DeLay to trial in Texas on state charges of money laundering and conspiracy. Jury selection begins today in Austin. In August, DeLay lost his bid to have the trial moved from the predominantly Democratic city.

From the Austin-American Statesman:

DeLay and two associates — Jim Ellis and John Colyandro — are accused by prosecutors of taking $190,000 in corporate money collected by a state political action committee DeLay started and illegally funneling it through the Republican National Committee in Washington to help elect GOP state legislative candidates in 2002. Under Texas law, corporate money cannot be directly used for political campaigns.

DeLay has one of the best attorneys in the country, Dick DeGuerin of Houston, who also is a good friend of mine. Dick says there's no crime and the charges are the result of a political witchhunt by former Travis County DA Ronnie Earle. [More..]

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Tom DeLay Loses Bid to Move Trial From Austin

Tom DeLay, who had a moment in the sun last week when he learned the feds decided not to prosecute him, didn't fare as well in state court today.

The Judge refused to move his trial from Travis County, which includes Austin, which DeLay claimed was too liberal a county to be fair.

His trial is tentatively set for Oct. 26.

DeLay was indicted in 2005 on charges that he illegally sent $190,000 in corporate money through the Republican National Committee to help elect GOP Texas legislative candidates in 2002.

DeLay has pleaded not guilty to money laundering and conspiracy.

The court also held a hearing today on former prosecutor Ronnie Earle's alleged improprieties before the grand jury. (Background here.) Earle testified out of the presence of the media.

More on Ronnie Earle here, along with my advice to Tom DeLay to quit talking to the media and listening to his PR people and let his excellent attorney speak for him.

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Tom DeLay Unplugged

Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burk has her work cut out for her this season with former House Speaker Tom DeLay, but his appearance last night was fun to watch and I give him props for trying to loosen up. The judges didn't know what to make of him. The first elimination is tomorrow night.

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