Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) Indicted for Abuse of Power by Travis County Grand Jury (Update: Perry Fires Back Calls it Partisan Politics)(Update: Even Obama Political Adviser David Axelrod Thinks Indictment is ‘Sketchy’)
Travis County, Texas grand jury proves once again Judge Saul Wachler’s famous saying that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to ‘indict a ham sandwich.’”
Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been indicted by a Travis County grand jury for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for prosecutors investigating public corruption. However, the indictment reeks of political payback and political disagreements being handled via the courts. The indictment stems from when Perry promised publicly to veto $7.5 million over two years for the Public Integrity Unit run by the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. DA Lehmberg, a Democrat, was convicted of drunken driving with a blood-alcohol nearly three times the legal limit. Perry had asked for her to resign; however, she refused.
Fort Worth Star Telegram: Gov. Perry indicted, accused of coercion, abusing power.
A Travis County grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday, accusing him of abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state’s first indicted governor in nearly a century.
A special prosecutor spent months calling witnesses and presenting evidence that Perry broke the law when he promised publicly to veto $7.5 million over two years for the Public Integrity Unit run by the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.
Lehmberg, a Democrat, was convicted of drunken driving, but refused Perry’s calls to resign.
Although the Republican governor now has been indicted on two felony counts, politics dominates the case. Lehmberg is based in Austin, which is heavily Democratic, in contrast to most of the rest of conservative Texas. The grand jury consisted of Austin-area residents.
The unit Lehmberg oversees investigates statewide allegations of corruption and political wrongdoing. It led the investigation against former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican who in 2010 was convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering for taking part in a scheme to influence elections in his home state — convictions later vacated by an appeals court.
Mary Anne Wiley, Perry’s general counsel, predicted Perry ultimately will be cleared of the charges against him — abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.
“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” she said.
UPDATE I: Gov. Rick Perry Fires back at the bogus indictment that he abused his power.
Gov. Rick Perry fired back at the indictments and called it nothing more than outrageous and partisan politics.
“We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country. It is outrageous that some would use partisan, political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state’s Constitution. This indictment amounts to nothing more than abuse of power. And I cannot and I will not allow that to happen … I am confident that we will ultimately prevail. That this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it really is and those responsible will be held accountable.”
UPDATE II: KXAN Video – Jailers had to restrain DA Rosemary Lehmberg when she was nearly 3x’s the legal limit for DUI.
DA Rosemary Lehmberg initially denied that she was drunk to police as seen by dash cam.
DA Rosemary Lehmberg blames the police for pulling her over for DUI and ruining her career. In fact, the police did not pull her over, she had pulled over on her own in a Church parking lot. The police deputies could not believe they had the chief law enforcement officer in the country on DUI. Since then, not only did Gov. Rick Perry ask her to step down, the Austin police association asked for her to resign as well.
Honestly, how in the hell did this woman not have the common decency and respect for those who enforce and uphold the law, not resign?
“David Axelrod said that this was a very sketchy indictment,” Perry said. “Professor [Alan] Dershowitz, who’s not exactly my cheerleader, said that it was outrageous. So across the board you’re seeing people weigh in, reflecting that this is way outside of the norm…When you’ve got David Axelrod and Harvard law professor Dershowitz saying the things as they’ve said, I think it’s pretty reflective of what we’re working with here.”