Austin, TX, United States (4E) – A Texas appeals court on Thursday overturned the 2010 money laundering conviction of former House Majority leader Tom DeLay.
Texas Third Circuit Court of Appeals Justice Melissa Goodwin said in an opinion that evidence against DeLay was insufficient.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said they will appeal the 2-1 decision before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
DeLay, 66, did not serve his reduced 3-year sentence while appealing his conviction. Upon learning the decision at a prayer meeting in Washington, the Republican congressman said he was glad of the ruling on the case he described as an “outrageous criminalization of politics.”
A Texas jury convicted DeLay in November 2010 for funneling $190,000 in corporate donation to Texas House Republican candidates in 2002 via the Republican National Committee.
The direct contribution to political candidates violated state law. Prosecutors claimed the contribution helped in the election of more Republicans to the state legislature leading to the approval of DeLay’s redistricting plan. The plan eventually elected more Republicans to Congress in 2004.
He resigned in Congress in 2006 in accordance with rules ending 21 years of career as a legislator.