Tom DeLay trial enters final stages

November 23, 2010


The fate of Tom DeLay will soon be in the hands of 12 of his peers.

Closing arguments are set to be heard Monday in Austin in the money laundering trial of the former House majority leader and jurors are expected to get the case shortly thereafter.

DeLay, who served 22 years in Congress before resigning in 2006, was indicted in 2005 on charges he illegally funneled $190,000 worth of corporate funds to Republican Texas legislative candidates via an exchange between his political action committee and the Republican National Committee in 2002. Under Texas law, corporate donations cannot be made directly to campaigns.

DeLay — who at one point, faced separate federal investigation for his ties to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff — has insisted he committed no wrongdoing, that Texas candidates did not receive corporate funds and that the money swap with the RNC was legal. DeLay was never charged in the federal investigation that figured prominently in his 2006 resignation.

Over the course of the trial, which began Nov. 1, the prosecution has presented 30 witnesses and reams of documents and e-mails to prove DeLay’s involvement with the PAC’s operations. The defense, on the other hand, has presented only five witnesses, and DeLay did not testify on his own behalf, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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