AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - During a 22-year career in Congress, Tom DeLay helped build both his and the Republican Party's power.
The former Texas congressman's shrewd strategy and hardball tactics elevated him to the post of U.S. House majority leader. But one such effort to shore up GOP clout also proved to be his undoing.
DeLay was defiant Wednesday after a jury convicted him in what prosecutors alleged was a scheme to send more Republicans to Congress by funneling illegal corporate money to Texas legislative candidates in 2002.
Outside the courtroom, DeLay maintained his innocence. He complained about an "abuse of power" from the jury in Austin, the most Democratic city in Republican-dominant Texas.