Tom DeLay found himself vindicated Thursday after a Texas appeals court overturned the former House Majority Leader’s 2010 conviction on federal charges related to Republican campaign efforts.
DeLay was convicted in 2010 of laundering money to help Republican candidates during the 2002 election cycle.
In documents released Thursday morning, the Texas Third Circuit Court of Appeals wrote: “Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to sustain DeLay’s convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal.”
The court’s documents are posted on the website ElectionLawBlog.org.
Those documents note that prosecutors had accused DeLay of “participating in a scheme to channel unlawful corporate political contributions to candidates for the Texas House of Representatives in 2002.” A jury heard the trial in 2010.
“DeLay’s defensive theory, among others, was that none of the transfers was illegal — that they were structured to comply with the campaign finance laws — and, therefore, there were no proceeds of criminal activity to support money laundering or the conspiracy to commit money laundering,” the Thursday opinion noted.
DeLay left Congress in 2006.
The former officeholder happened to be on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. on Thursday. “I’m very happy about it,” DeLay said, according to USA Today. “This was an outrageous criminalization of politics and I’m so glad that they wrote the ruling that they did.”