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The Nation

Court refuses to reinstate DeLay's conspiracy charge

June 28, 2007|From the Associated Press

AUSTIN, TEXAS — The criminal case against Tom DeLay now hinges on two money-laundering charges after Texas' highest criminal court refused Wednesday to bring back a conspiracy charge.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled 5 to 4 against reinstating a count of conspiracy to violate the election code.

The former House majority leader resigned last year amid allegations that he violated campaign finance laws to funnel $190,000 in corporate contributions to Republicans in the state's 2002 legislative elections.

A state district judge threw out the conspiracy charge in December 2005 after lawyers argued that the law DeLay was accused of violating didn't take effect until 2003. A regional appeals court upheld that decision.

Two charges -- money-laundering and conspiring to launder money -- remain against the former congressman.

DeLay said Wednesday's ruling brought him closer to a resolution, and repeated his contention that the prosecution was politically motivated.

Prosecutor Ronnie Earle released a statement saying he would ask for a rehearing on the quashed charge.

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