No Federal Charges for the ‘Hammer’ DeLay in Abramoff Scandal, But State Charges Remain

August 16, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Former disgraced Republican House Majority Leader from Texas, Tom DeLay has escaped federal charges for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. Politico reports the Department of Justice has decided after a six-year probe, not to go forward with federal charges against DeLay, although two of DeLay’s former aides pleaded guilty to wrongdoing relating to the Abramoff investigation. DeLay, known as “the Hammer” was forced to step down as Majority Leader in 2005, after a Texas grand jury handed down state indictments for criminal campaign violations.

DeLay’s years as a Congressman were marked by slimy unethical behavior, most notably, as part of the K Street Project, which resulted in a private reprimand from the House Ethics Committee. DeLay still faces the state charges in Texas for money laundering and criminal violations of state campaign laws.

According to Politico, the DOJ informed DeLay’s attorney Richard Cullen that the investigation was ending without a filing of charges:

‘“The federal investigation of Tom DeLay is over and there will be no charges,” Cullen told us. “This is the so-called Abramoff investigation run by the Public Integrity section of DOJ. There have been a series of convictions and guilty pleas since 2005. A campaign-related charge against him continues in Texas. In 2005, we voluntarily produced to the prosecutors over 1,000 emails and documents from the DeLay office dating back to 1997.”

Melanie Sloan, executive director of Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reacted to the DOJ’s decision, calling DeLay one of the most corrupt lawmakers, ever.

“It’s a sad day for America when one of the most corrupt members to ever walk the halls of Congress gets a free pass.” […]

“The fact that Jack Abramoff and Bob Ney (R-OH) are the only two people who went to prison for one of the worst corruption scandals in congressional history is shocking,” said Sloane, adding “The Hammer belongs in the slammer.”

The “Hammer” will now have more time to pursue his Dancing With the Stars career.


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