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DOJ ends DeLay criminal probe without filing charges

A lawyer for former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) [JURIST news archive] confirmed Monday that a US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] criminal probe into DeLay's association with lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive] has been dismissed without charges being filed. The investigation lasted six years and included grand jury testimony [Politico report] from former aides as well as a review of more than 1,000 documents and e-mails from DeLay's office. Richard Cullen, a lawyer representing DeLay, noted that while many members of Congress targeted for investigation objected to producing documents, DeLay made every effort to provide the requested documentation. While the DOJ does not comment on investigations that conclude without charges being filed, Cullen stated that he was informed last week that the investigation was ending. DeLay still faces money laundering and conspiracy charges in Texas state court relating to 2002 state legislative elections. The state court trial is expected to begin next spring.

DeLay and two other Republicans are accused of transferring $190,000 in corporate money directly to the Republican National Committee, which then donated the same amount to local Texas campaigns. DeLay and the other suspects have denied raising or spending money illegally. In August 2008, a Texas appeals court allowed the money-laundering indictment [JURIST report] against DeLay's associates to stand. In 2007, a Texas appeals court ruled against reinstating a charge of conspiracy to violate the state's election against DeLay and his two associates. After he was indicted, DeLay stepped down as House majority leader and later resigned from Congress [JURIST reports].

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