A Texas jury on Wednesday convicted former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on charges of illegally funneling corporate money to help elect GOP candidates to the Texas Legislature.
DeLay was found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, court bailiff Gilbert Soto said. He was accused of funneling $190,000 to help elect Republicans to the state House and Senate in 2002.
At the outset of the trial, DeLay predicted the jury would clear him, and he remained unrepentant after learning the verdict, calling it "a miscarriage of justice."
"I still maintain that I am innocent," DeLay told reporters. "The criminalization of politics undermines our very system. I'm very disappointed."
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said the verdict showed no one was above the law.
"This case is a message from the citizens of the state of Texas that the public officials they elect to represent them must do so honestly and ethically, and if not they'll be held accountable," Lehmberg said.
DeLay's sentencing was set for December 20, and he faces a possible maximum prison term of 99 years on the money laundering charge and 20 years on the conspiracy charge.
Having said that, raise your hand if you think DeLay will ever serve a single day in prison. If you do, please disabuse yourself of such dangerous naivete right now.
He'll remain out on appeal, and of course an appeal will take a very, very long time. And the next time we get a Republican in the White House, DeLay's free as a bird.
Congress protects their own. And even if DeLay should magically face a single day of justice, by setting the stage for Orange Julius and friends, he's made incalculable damage to our country and our economy possible.
Any way you look at it, DeLay comes out far, far ahead.