Tom DeLay Found Guilty of Money Laundering.
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whose nickname was “The Hammer,” for his imperious style in the U.S. Congress, was recently found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Congressman Tom DeLay had started a political action committee in Texas that solicited $190,000 from various corporate interests and forwarded it to a branch of the Republican National Committee. Subsequently that group distributed the money to seven Republican legislative candidates that were running for election and helped the GOP win control of the Texas House. Controlling the Texas House was important so they could alter the state districting plan and subsequently send more Republicans to Congress.
From Politics to Money Laundering.
Ok, so that’s politics, but money laundering? How did it become money laundering? Herein lies the crux of the money laundering charge. As we all know, to have money laundering we first must have a crime (specified unlawful activity or predicate crime) that proceeds are derived from. I think we all are pretty clear when a drug dealer or a bookie is found guilty, but what’s the original crime in the Tom DeLay case? Texas law strictly forbids corporate contributions to political campaigns. By funneling corporate contributions to political candidates Congressman DeLay was in direct violation of Texas law. Turning that cash around and distributing it to numerous candidates would have been the layering and integration process of money laundering. That opened the door for the State of Texas to bring money laundering charges against DeLay.
Delay’s defense did not convince the jury.
Congressman Tom DeLay’s defense was not to deny that the money went to various candidates, but that the money was from individual donors and not corporate contributions, which would have been legal. Obviously, the jury did not see things that way and they found Tom DeLay guilty.
There is no truth to the rumor that Tom DeLay will now be starring in a new TV reality series called, “Dancing Behind the Bars,” or “Shake Your Ankle Bracelet,” or “The Hammer in the Slammer”…ok…I think I better stop now! Wait, one more…”Hammer Time: Can’t Touch This!”