The Big Three networks all briefly covered the conviction of former House Minority Leader Tom DeLay for campaign money laundering on Wednesday night. But none of them allowed DeLay air time to defend himself. "This is an abuse of power," he said outside the courtroom. "It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system, and I am very disappointed in the outcome."
CBS Evening News substitute anchor Harry Smith seemed to revel in the verdict:
He was once the most powerful Republican in Washington. Tonight, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is a convicted felon. A jury in Austin convicted him today of money laundering charges. Prosecutors said he illegally funneled corporate donations to legislative campaigns in Texas. DeLay, who is 63, could get anywhere from five to 99 years in prison. His lawyer called the verdict a miscarriage of justice and vowed to appeal.