A Texas appeals court on Thursday overturned the money-laundering and conspiracy convictions that ended the political career of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay seven years ago.
The Sugar Land Republican was facing a three-year prison sentence before the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals’ majority opinion ruled that there was “legally insufficient evidence” at DeLay’s 2010 trial before a Travis County jury.
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TOM DELAY’S LEGAL CASE
Nov. 28, 2001: To little fanfare, U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay leads Texas GOP officials in launching Texans for a Republican Majority to elect a GOP majority in the Texas Legislature.
Nov. 5, 2002: Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, opens an investigation into allegations of campaign finance violations shortly after Republicans win control of the Legislature.
March 31, 2003: The investigation expands to include Texans for a Republican Majority which is eventually accused of laundering $190,000 of corporate money into campaign donations.
Oct. 12, 2003: The Legislature finally approves a new congressional map, at the behest of DeLay, after an acrimonious 10 months of political infighting. Prosecutors would later cite redistricting as DeLay’s motive for violating state campaign laws.
August 2005: DeLay meets behind closed doors with prosecutors, but he fails to persuade them not to pursue an indictment. A transcript from that meeting becomes crucial evidence at his 2010 trial.
Oct. 3, 2005: A grand jury indicts DeLay on money-laundering and conspiracy charges.
Jan. 7, 2006: DeLay resigns as U.S. House majority leader because the indictment disqualifies him under GOP rules. He vows to win re-election.
April 3, 2006: DeLay shocks supporters by announcing he is quitting his re-election battle and retiring from Congress after 11 terms.
Nov. 24, 2010: A Travis County jury finds DeLay guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Jan. 10, 2011: Judge Pat Priest sentences an unrepentant DeLay to three years in prison.
Sept. 19, 2013: A split 3rd Court of Appeals reverses DeLay’s conviction and sentence, saying the evidence was “legally insufficient.”