Austin, Texas Rep. Tom DeLay could face a trial early next year now that a judge has refused to throw out money-laundering allegations against the former House majority leader.
Judge Pat Priest dismissed a conspiracy charge against DeLay in his ruling Monday in Austin, but with the more serious charges still intact, the case heads closer to trial - although other defense objections remain to be heard.
DeLay's hopes of reclaiming his powerful position as House majority leader were dealt a blow by the ruling. He had hoped to have the charges resolved by the time Congress reconvened in late January, so he could step back into his role as majority leader. Although Monday's ruling was a partial victory, DeLay cannot reclaim the post because he is still under indictment.