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The Hammer falls: corrupt pol Tom DeLay is going to the clink

This man embodied the GOP web of corruption and dealmaking, and a jury of his peers only took 19 hours to bring it all down on The Hammer.

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay – once one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress – was convicted Wednesday on charges he illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts against DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.

Prosecutors said DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based PAC to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee, or RNC. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can’t go directly to political campaigns.

DeLay opted to have Senior Judge Pat Priest sentence him. Under the charges he was convicted of, he faces 5 to life for the money laundering and 2 to 20 years on the conspiracy charge.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding