Brian Wice, an attorney for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) told TPM on Thursday he has some choice words for prosecutors who indicated they want to have an appeals court review the decision that overturned DeLay’s 2010 money laundering conviction.
“I am confident based upon the statement that was issued today by the Travis County District Attorney’s Office that they are going to seek review in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals,” Wice said. “My response is, ‘Hey, good luck with that.'”
Wice described the acquittal from the Court of Appeals was a “total vindication” for DeLay. He also criticized prosecutors for crossing the “fine line between prosecution and persecution” in their attempt to convict DeLay for allegedly conspiring to steer corporate money to political candidates in Texas in an effort to secure a Republican majority in that state’s legislature in 2002. The accusations contributed to DeLay’s decision to resign from Congress in 2006.
“It’s not just Tom’s good name that somehow managed to get thrown under the bus, but the people who in my estimation crossed the line from prosecution to persecution, they essentially ruined what was supposed to be his golden years,” said Wice. “For that, they’re going to have to answer to a higher authority than the Court of Appeals.”
Wice said he hopes DeLay will now “be able to contribute as much or more as he has in the wake of his resignation from Congress.” However, Wice said he was not sure whether DeLay was interested in returning to politics.
“Boy, you know, that’s one of life’s unanswered questions. Like, ‘Is there life after death?’ … ‘Will I get to date Jessica Alba?'” Wice said of a potential DeLay comeback bid. “I think right now, he wants to stop, collect his breath, and just rejoice in what happened today.”
Wice also said he was unsure about how DeLay, who was in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, would be celebrating the verdict.
“I think that he is with the people who he cares about in a town where he devoted as much of his life as he could,” said Wice. “I know he’s giving thanks to the good Lord just like I have. It’s a wonderful way to start off the Jewish new year.”
DeLay did not respond to a request for comment from TPM.