DeLay does not testify as trial nears end

Nov. 19, 2010 at 12:06 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Testimony in Tom DeLay's money-laundering trial ended in Austin, Texas, without the former House majority leader testifying.

Closing arguments are set for Monday, the Houston Chronicle reported.

DeLay said after Thursday's court session he got to make his case when prosecutors played his 2005 interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News.

"The reason I didn't testify is there was no need to. … I can't believe the prosecution finished their case with my testimony," he said.

In the interview, DeLay said he knew of a money swap between his Texans for a Republican Majority and the Republican National Committee, but it was legal.

Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's lawyer, told the Austin American-Statesman: "Money swaps were common. They are lawful."

While the defense contends no crime was proved, prosecutor Gary Cobb said: "They said that before we started. After the jury returns with a verdict, they'll say the same thing."

He said it is not unusual to lack direct evidence against the top figure in a conspiracy.

Neither DeLay's chief political aide, Jim Ellis, nor John Colyandro, who ran Texans for a Republican Majority, testified because they are being tried later as co-conspirators.

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