The Justice Department notified DeLay’s lead attorney, McGuireWoods Chairman Richard Cullen, about the decision last week, the lawyer said.
“The federal investigation of Tom DeLay is over and there will be no charges,” Cullen told Politico. “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.”
Cullen said that DeLay “voluntarily produced to the prosecutors over 1,000 emails and documents from the DeLay office dating back to 1997. Several members of Congress objected to producing official government records under Speech or Debate Clause concerns,” Cullen said.
“DeLay took the opposite position, ordering all his staff to answer all questions. He turned over more than 1,000 documents, and several of his aides gave interviews and grand jury testimony.”
Reached by TPMMuckraker, Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney declined to comment.
A separate state probe in Texas into an alleged scheme to funnel corporate money in the 2002 campaign remains open, Cullen said. DeLay and two other men are allegedly raised $190,000 in corporate money in Texas through a fundraising committee and sent it the Republican National Committee, which then gave the money to candidates in Texas, a state which bans corporate donations.
DeLay would like to see that case go to trial, his lawyer Dick DeGuerin told TPMMuckraker in April.
Late Update: “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,” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.
“As we continue the work of building a Washington that is worthy of the American people, the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Mr. DeLay for his actions sends exactly the wrong message to current and future members,” Sloan said.
“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,” Sloan said.
“The Hammer belongs in the slammer. Mr. DeLay still has crimes to answer for in Texas - generally not considered the best place to be a criminal defendant.”