One of the most powerful US Congressmen has announced he is standing down
from frontline politics following allegations of campaign money laundering.
Tom DeLay, who led the Republican party in Congress, had removed himself from
the post last September in order to deal with the charges in his homes state of
Texas, but had originally insisted that he would return to his duties once
exonerated. He has now backed down from that stance.
DeLay has been accused of using money from corporate funds in election
campaigns, which is prohibited under Texas law.
The charges allege that $190,000 of corporate donations sent to the
Republican National State Elections Committee were sent on as personal donations
to Republican candidates by a body led by DeLay.
DeLay has also been caught up in the scandal surrounding lobbyist and friend
Jack Abramoff, who last week pleaded guilty to conspiracy, fraud and tax