Former Republican Texas Congressman and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay may have a little less to be thankful for this year than most other Americans seasoning their turkeys tonight– a jury found him guilty today several money laundering charges that could add up to a lifetime prison sentence.
In total, DeLay has been convicted of channeling nearly $200,000 in illegal donations to various Republican candidates. The charges, which led to DeLay stepping down as Majority Leader in 2005. The New York Times outlines the charges— and the unorthodox tactics the prosecution needed to use to persuade the jury:
“[Prosecutors] argued Mr. DeLay and two of political operatives — John Colyandro and Jim Ellis — had violated the criminal money-laundering law. They were charged with conspiring to funnel $190,000 in corporate donations to state candidates through the Republican National Committee.”
Meanwhile, DeLay responded to the charges by “prais[ing] the Lord” and calling the conviction an “abuse of power.” “I maintain that I am innocent,” he told reporters.
DeLay served in the House of Representatives from 1985-2006. He also made a much-talked-about appearance on Dancing with the Stars. He faces two to twenty years for conspiracy and five to 99 years for money laundering.
DeLay’s statements after hearing his verdict via CNN below:
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