Tom DeLay: 'I'll keep fighting'
POSTED: Friday, September 27, 2013 - 8:04am
UPDATED: Friday, September 27, 2013 - 2:09pm
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who resigned amid scandal in 2006, said he's "coming back" now that his 2010 conviction for money laundering has been overturned.
DeLay also weighed in on the current showdown in Congress over the spending bill and debt limit.
"I know the Democrats thought they had me down and out, but I've been working through these eight years of being under this cloud," he said Friday on CNN's "New Day." "I'm coming back...I never left and I won't leave, and I'll keep fighting for what I believe in."
DeLay added he's working on a book called "Shut Her Down" about "constitutional revival."
Once one of the most powerful men on Capitol Hill, DeLay was convicted for allegedly trying to influence Texas elections by trying to channel nearly $200,000 in corporate donations to Republicans running for the state legislature.
But last week a Texas appellate court acquitted him, saying the evidence was "legally insufficient to sustain DeLay's conviction."
Delay, who served more than two decades in the House before resigning, had been sentenced to three years in prison, but he never served any time.
"We've known all along this was a trumped up charge by a rogue district attorney in Austin, Texas, but we knew, once I got out of Travis County, that I would be exonerated and that's what's happening," he told CNN's Chris Cuomo.
Asked if there's a chance the acquittal will be appealed, DeLay's lawyer, Brian Wice, said it's more than possible.
"I think they'll have to. I think they've lost face. Anytime you take the kind of beating in the court of appeals that they took in a case in this magnitude, they're going to go as far as they can," he said
But he added he's "cautiously optimistic that the judges will see there's nothing about this case...that warrants their intervention as the state's highest court for criminal matters."
The U.S. Department of Justice ended its own investigation of DeLay in 2010 without filing any criminal charges against the former congressman. He has been free on bail pending appeal of his conviction.
DeLay also had some advice for his fellow Republicans in the House, as Congress tries to find a deal on preventing a government shutdown, and next month, raising the debt ceiling.
"My advice is hold firm, stick to your guns, stand strong, and you'll ultimately win," DeLay said.
DeLay was a close colleague of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich when Republicans took back the House in 1994 and oversaw the last government shutdown in 1995. While urging Republicans to stand strong, DeLay also argued against a shutdown in the current political climate.
He further hit back against the idea that Republicans suffered after the last shutdown.
"We won. We won the budget cuts we won it. We showed Bill Clinton that we'd take him off a cliff and we got welfare reform, balanced budget and we won seats in the next election," he said.
CNN's Ashley Killough and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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