Tom DeLay, former U.S. House of Representatives Majority leader, also known as “The Hammer” for his politics and master vote-counter was convicted for money laundering in 2010. The case was based on DeLay’s alleged complicity in violating the Texas law prohibiting the direct donation of corporate money to political campaigns to the tune of $190,000 that were illegally channeled to Republican candidates for the Texas legislature during the 2002 elections. In the beginning of 2011, he was sentenced to three years in prison, and has been free on bond until the result of his appeal.
On Wednesday October 10th, DeLay’s lawyer Brian Wice sought to have the conviction reversed on the grounds that the transactions in question were executed in check form, and did not fall under the category of money laundering laws at the time, which defined laundered money as cash. The prosecution finds this technicality a risky precedent to set, indicating that future cases could evade money laundering prosecution by using checks rather than cash. DeLay was not present at the hearing. The defense further indicates that the verdict may have been swayed by politics when DeLay was prosecuted in a majority blue-leaning region. The case has been slowed by party lines as
three republican justices recused themselves from the trial, and a democrat was removed for anti-republican sentiment. The judges have not indicated when they will issue a ruling.