Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Hammer Gets the Slammer

Former House majority leader Tom DeLay gets three years for money laundering in Texas.

Mr. DeLay, once one of the most powerful and polemical Republican congressmen in the state, was ushered out of Travis County Court after the sentencing and was taken by sheriff’s deputies to the county jail. He later posted a $10,000 bond and was released pending an appeal, his lawyers said.

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 of 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.

Mr. DeLay, who was known as “the Hammer” when he was in Congress for his tough political tactics, will now have a little while to come up with a new name for himself when he’s in the joint. Then he can print it out on his very own license plate.