The government has ended a six-year investigation of former House Majority Leader Tom Delay’s (R-Texas)’s ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The news was relayed by DeLay’s lead counsel in the matter, Richard Cullen, chairman of law firm McGuireWoods, who said he received a call from the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section informing him of the decision and letting him know that it was approved for public knowledge.
The extraordinarily long (more than 6 years) and expensive probe marked the rise of a wave of lobbying scandals that helped Democrats regain the House majority in 2006. In 2005, a Texas court charged DeLay with criminal violations of state campaign finance laws and money laundering. He pled not guilty, citing political motivation for the charges.
Once one of Washington’s top power brokers, DeLay now spends most of his time at his home in Sugar Land, Texas, and recently starred in the reality show, ‘Dancing with the Stars.’ He is also founder and president of a strategic political consulting firm, First Principles, which he launched after he stepped down from his Congressional seat in 2005.
Abramoff was released to a Baltimore half-way house in December 2009. Another figure in the case, ex-Rep. John Doolittle, was cleared in June. Kevin Ring, a former staff for Doolittle, and then a lobbyist for Abramoff, was refused an injunction on his own corruption case by Federal Judge Ellen Huvelle last week; Ring’s attorneys sought to get his case thrown out after the Honest Services Fraud statute was weakened by the Supreme Court in June.
A timeline of charges against DeLay is here from National Journal. A POLITICO article on the DeLay case is here.