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Tom DeLay arrives at courthouse
Tom DeLay, the Republican leader known as "The Hammer" for his brass knuckles style, stood before a jury Monday and declared he never crossed the line into criminally dirty politics.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I am not guilty," the former US House majority leader said after an indictment was read accusing DeLay of money laundering and conspiracy.
The trial began a day before US voters head to the polls for mid-term elections in which Republicans are expected to retake the House of Representatives and cut deeply into the Democrats' Senate majority.