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Tom DeLay files appeal brief

Aug. 14, 2011 at 3:15 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- An appeal filed by former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay says he did not knowingly take part in a conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

The appeal also contends Texas' restrictions on campaign contributions from corporations is illegal because it violates constitutional guarantees of free speech.

DeLay, the onetime Republican leader in the House of Representatives, was convicted of conspiring to launder corporate contributions and sentenced to three years in prison. He remained free Sunday pending his appeal.

DeLay's Houston lawyer, Brian Wice, presented his arguments in a 107-page brief last week that the Austin (Texas) Statesman-American said contended DeLay was not party to a conspiracy and, if he was, he did not know it was a crime did not do anything illegal in the first place.

The newspaper said prosecutors have several weeks to file a response to the appeal.

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