Prosecutors want DeLay indictment reinstated

Prosecutors in the case against U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay have asked the state’s highest criminal court to reinstate an indictment accusing the former House majority leader of conspiring to violate election laws.

The appeal filed with the Court of Criminal Appeals Friday had been expected and likely postpones a trial for DeLay on a separate money laundering charge.

A Travis County grand jury indicted DeLay and political consultants John Colyandro and Jim Ellis last year on money laundering and conspiracy charges, stemming from a 2002 campaign finance transaction.

Prosecutors accuse the three of funneling $190,000 in corporate money to the Republican National Committee, which then donated the same amount to Texas candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can’t be directly used for political campaigns.

DeLay and his two associates deny the transaction was illegal.

A district judge later threw out the conspiracy indictment, agreeing with defense arguments that a conspiracy law did not cover election code violations when the alleged offense was committed in 2002. A three-judge panel of the 3rd Court of Appeals upheld that ruling last month.

DeLay, 59, an 11-term congressman, has said he would resign from the House on June 9. He faced a tough re-election bid following his indictment and after two former staffers pleaded guilty as part of the influence-peddling investigation into former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.