Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Tom DeLay Cleared in Federal Probe, but Texas Charges Loom

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Tom DeLay Cleared in Federal Probe, but Texas Charges Loom

Article excerpt

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay was not charged in a federal investigation into ties with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But he faces a Texas indictment for violating campaign- finance laws.

After a six-year investigation, the Justice Department ended its probe into former House majority leader Tom DeLay's relations with convicted ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, without bringing criminal charges.

The announcement did not come from the Justice Department, which typically does not comment on investigations that do not result in charges, but from Mr. DeLay's legal team, as reported by Politico.

"Six years is a long time, and I'm sure he wishes it had happened years ago," Richard Cullen, attorney for the former Texas Republican lawmaker, told Politico Monday.

The broad investigation of Mr. Abramoff and his connections stirred up a storm of allegations and led to convictions or charges for some 20 House staff, former lobbyists, and Bush administration officials.

One member of Congress, Rep. Robert Ney (R) of Ohio, former chair of the House Administration Committee, was convicted for doing official favors for Mr. Abramoff in exchange for campaign contributions, trips, gifts, sports tickets, and meals.

House Democrats used such allegations as Exhibit A in their successful bid to take back the House in 2006. Other members of Congress, including former Sen. Conrad Burns (R) of Montana, Rep. J. D. Hayworth (R) of Arizona, and Rep. Richard Pombo (R) of California lost their 2006 reelection bids in the midst of allegations of involvement in such pay-to-play schemes, but, like DeLay, were not subsequently charged with a crime.

Such cases helped build support for a stronger lobbyist gift ban, curbs on corporate-funded travel, and new disclosure requirements for congressional earmarks or pork projects.

Public interest groups praised the new legislation but on Monday expressed concern that the investigation took so long and produced so few charges against members of Congress. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.