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Appeals court overturns DeLay’s money laundering conviction

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The 3rd Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s money laundering conviction.

The 66-year-old former congressman was convicted three years ago, stemming from charges that he illegally found a way to give Texas Republican candidates $190,000 dollars during the 2002 elections.

The Travis County District Attorney's Office indicted DeLay in 2005. The following year, the powerful majority leader resigned from Congress.

"I had Jesus in me and they didn't understand it," Delay said to a swarm of reporters in Washington D.C. “They never got rid of me. You may have seen my shadow and my footprints around over the last seven years.”

Gary Cobb, the Travis County prosecutor in Delay’s trial, said he did his job in convincing the jury that Delay set up a third party bank account to launder corporate cash to benefit seven GOP candidates, an act which is illegal in Texas.

"Same pile of money until you put it in that third party and then you clean that money up. Then it becomes cleaner money, but it's still illegal money," Cobb said. "That's what we call money laundering. That's exactly how that worked.”

Delay argues prosecutors went grand jury shopping just to score the 2005 indictment.

"Six grand juries, found out the last one had just been sworn in, hadn't even been through orientation when they got the indictment," Delay said.

Prosecutors are now preparing legal briefs to take this fight to the next level of appeals.

“We strongly agree that Tom Delay is guilty. There was a lot of work done by jurors. They sat in the box for three weeks and heard the evidence," Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmerg said. "This is far from over.”

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