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The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday upheld a decision by a lower court that dropped a conspiracy charge against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas). [IMGCAP(1)]

The 5-4 decision by the highest criminal court in the Lone Star State does not affect the remaining two charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.

The court ruled that a lower court was correct in December 2005 to drop a charge of conspiring to violate election law because that law did not exist at the time the alleged violation took place.

DeLay resigned from Congress in 2006 after Texas prosecutors alleged he laundered $190,000 in illegal corporate contributions to Republicans in the 2002 elections.

In a statement Wednesday, DeLay appeared gratified by the latest turn of events.

“What [Travis County prosecutor] Ronnie Earle accomplished is no rookie error. It’s a political attack using our legal system as the primary weapon,” DeLay said, according to The Associated Press.

“The damage he has done to my family and my career cannot be rectified, but the courts have recognized a significant portion of the injustice and ruled accordingly,” he said.

— Rachel Van Dongen

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