Tom DeLay: No Charges After 6-Year Probe

Where does Tom DeLay go to get his reputation back?

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Monday he always knew a Justice Department probe of his ties to disgraced ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff would end without criminal charges being filed against him because he did nothing wrong.

DeLay said he wishes the investigation hadn’t taken six years, but added he isn’t bitter.

“I know this is the price of leadership, but it doesn’t have to happen this way,” the 11-term Republican from suburban Houston told reporters during a conference call. “I hope people will look at my case and decide the criminalization of politics and the politics of personal destruction is not beneficial to our country and hopefully it will stop.”

Still, DeLay’s legal problems are not over. He and two associates face money laundering and conspiracy charges in Texas connected to 2002 state legislative elections. A court hearing in that case is set for next week.

“I still have a trial to go through,” DeLay said, referring to the Texas case. “I’m hoping to win that. I know I will.”

Prosecutors say DeLay and his co-defendants funneled $190,000 in corporate money through the Republican National Committee in Washington then back to state legislative candidates in violation of state law.

That DeLay wasn’t charged with a federal crime doesn’t mean that he didn’t skirt the edges of the law very, very closely. But it’s quite remarkable that we spent six years and who knows how much taxpayer money investigating and found nothing. Indeed, prosecutors in these sort of cases tend to find something simply because the glare of the spotlight demands it.

FILED UNDER: Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    “I hope people will look at my case and decide the criminalization of politics and the politics of personal destruction is not beneficial to our country and hopefully it will stop.”

    Yes, well, I do hope that if the GOP wins the House and the crazoids attempt impeachment proceedings, The Hammer will bring himself down on the project. Somehow, I doubt that would happen, though.