Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tom DeLay GUILTY

 Tom Delay GUILTY: The clumsy style that made Tom DeLay one of the nations most influential and fear members of Congress also proved to be his downfall Wednesday when a jury strong-minded he went too far in trying to power elections, convicting the former House bulk leader on two felony that could send him to prison for decades.

Jurors deliberate for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts on charges of money laundering and plot to commit money launder in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. He faces up to life in prison on the money launder charge, although prosecutors haven't yet recommended a sentence.

Following the verdicts were read, DeLay hug his daughter, Danielle, and his wife, Christine. DeLay whispered into his daughter's ear that he couldn't get a fair trial in Austin. DeLay had ineffectively tried to get the trial moved out of Austin, the most liberal city in one of the most Republican states

DeLay's lead attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said they planned to appeal the verdict.

"This is an abuse of power. It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am blameless. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system and I'm very disappointed in the outcome," DeLay told reporters outside the courtroom.

He remains free on bond, and several witnesses were expected to be called during the sentence phase of his trial, tentatively scheduled to begin on Dec. 20.

Prosecutors said DeLay, who once held the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives and whose tough tactics earn him the nickname "the Hammer," used his political action committee to illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations into 2002 Texas legislative races through a money swap.

DeLay and his attorneys maintain the former Houston-area congressman did nothing wrong as no corporate funds went to Texas candidates and the money swap was legal.

The verdict came after a three-week trial in which prosecutors presented more than 30 witnesses and volumes of e-mails and other documents. DeLay's attorneys presented five witnesses.

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