September 25, 2012
HOUSTON (AP) — Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay — still waiting to learn his legal fate since being convicted nearly two years ago for his role in a scheme to influence Texas elections — is praying for vindication but also preparing for the possibility of imprisonment.
DeLay's three-year prison sentence has been on hold as his case has made its way through the appellate process. For both DeLay and his critics, the process has been frustratingly slow, due in part to some of the appeals court justices in Austin recusing themselves as well as DeLay's successful effort to have a judge on the panel removed because of anti-Republican comments she made.
"I don't like living under this cloud. But I'm not angry about it. I even pray for the prosecution and my enemies," the former Houston-area congressman told The Associated Press in an interview. "No, they have not destroyed Tom DeLay as a person. And I'm ready to go to prison if that's where I'm supposed to end up."
But DeLay, and his attorney, Brian Wice, are hoping to get his convictions overturned. On Oct. 10, they will finally get a chance to make their case to the 3rd Court of Appeals, arguing the once-powerful Republican leader did nothing wrong and is the victim of a political vendetta, a claim that prosecutors deny.
DeLay, 65, was found guilty in November 2010 of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for helping illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002....
Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said there is some irony in DeLay — whose tough political tactics earned him the nickname "the Hammer" — claiming he is the victim of partisanship.
"If there is any irony here, it will be lost on Tom DeLay because when he looks out through his eyeballs he sees a partisan world," Jillson said. "He sees everyone motivated the way he was motivated."...