A Texas judge has sentenced former GOP majority leader Tom DeLay to three years in prison for his role in a scheme to launder corporate money to Texas candidates in contravention to state law.
AUSTIN, Texas —Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday after convictions for money laundering and conspiracy stemming from his role in a scheme to channel corporate contributions to Texas state races in 2002.
After listening to Mr. DeLay say he felt he had done nothing wrong, Judge Pat Priest sentenced him to three years in prison for the conspiracy count and 10 years’ probation for the money laundering count. The judge rejected arguments from Mr. DeLay that the trial had been a politically motivated vendetta mounted by an overzealous Democratic District Attorney.
“Before there were Republicans and Democrats, there was America, and what America is about is the rule of law,” the judge said just before pronouncing the sentence.
Oh yeah, Fox News is running a story on this event, too. I'll give you one chance to guess what word does not appear once in the article... that's right, it's the word "Republican."
(EDIT: Since it originally ran, the Fox story has been updated, significantly lengthening it and adding mention of DeLay’s party affiliation. This is the full text of the original Fox story:
AUSTIN, Texas -- A judge has ordered U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to serve three years in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.
The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. DeLay was once one of the most powerful men in U.S. politics, ascending to the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives.
The former Houston-area congressman had faced up to life in prison. His attorneys asked for probation.
Senior Judge Pat Priest issued his ruling after a brief sentencing hearing on Monday in which former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert testified on DeLay's behalf.
Priest declined to hear testimony from the state's only witness.