Testimony ended yesterday in former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s money laundering trial in Texas without DeLay himself ever taking the stand.
Prosecutors did, however, play two interviews DeLay gave when he was indicted in 2005: One to investigators, and one to Fox News’ Chris Wallace.
From the Austin-American Statesman:
DeLay told reporters that he didn’t need to testify once prosecutors played excerpts of his 2005 interview with Fox News.
“I didn’t need to say anything else,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that the prosecution finished their case with my testimony.”
DeLay is accused of orchestrating a money swap in 2002, wherein his Texas PAC collected $190,000 in corporate donations and sent it to the RNC, which in turn sent $190,000 to seven state house candidates hand-picked by DeLay’s PAC. It is illegal in Texas for corporations to donate money to candidates, directly or indirectly.
His defense contends that one, the swap was legal and two, DeLay didn’t know about it until after the fact.
But in the 2005 interview with investigators, DeLay repeatedly said he knew about the swap beforehand. He now says he misspoke.
His defense team also slipped a bit this week, using calendars to try to prove that DeLay did not meet with the PAC’s director until after the swap was done. The calendars also showed, however, that DeLay and the director, Jim Ellis, were both at a meeting the same day Ellis took out a check to give the RNC.
The defense recovered slightly when two witnesses said they couldn’t remember if DeLay was at the meeting, but didn’t think he was, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday.