A Texas grand jury indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for alleged involvement in money laundering related to the 2002 Texas election.
Last week, a different grand jury brought a conspiracy charge against the former House majority leader. DeLay's lawyers have argued that Texas prosecutors do not have the authority to bring the charge, saying the crime was not covered by state election law at the time of the alleged violation. The new charges don't involve the state's law.
DeLay has said that he is innocent and accused the prosecutor, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, of engaging in partisan politics by bringing the charges.
The new indictment accuses DeLay of conspiracy to commit money laundering. It says he agreed to launder $190,000 in corporate contributions through an arm of the Republican National Committee in Washington, allowing the funds to be passed illegally into the election campaigns of Republican candidates in Texas. Texas law prohibits the use of corporate money in political campaigns.
The second new count alleges that DeLay and the two associates knowingly facilitated the transfer of the $190,000 to Washington and back to Texas in violation of the state's money-laundering statutes.
Both money-laundering crimes are felonies and carry maximum sentences of life in prison.DeLay has said that his resignation as majority leader is temporary and he will continue to influence the House agenda. In August, DeLay had come under fire for a separate matter, in which the Federal Election Commission criticized a political action committee he chaired for misstating accounts and failing to report
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