Rick Perry: Indicted For Abuse of Power, Coercion of Public Servant

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A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office, but the longest-serving governor in state history denies any wrongdoing.

Rick Perry Glasses

Perry allegedly abused the powers of the governor's office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption.

He promised publicly to nix $7.5 million in funding over two years for the public integrity unit run by the office of Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg.

This threat took place after Lehmberg, a Democrat, was convicted of drunken driving last year, but refused Perry's calls to resign from her position.

No one disputes that Perry is allowed to veto measures approved by the Legislature, as he did in following through on his promise to axe the funds.

By using public pressure to boast that he would do so as a means of trying to Lehmberg to quit, however, the grand jury felt he broke the law.

Perry, 64, and his legal team adamantly disagree.

Mary Anne Wiley, Perry's general counsel, predicted he will be cleared of the charges against him, and thinks the exercise is largely a political stunt.

"The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution," said Perry's counsel.

David L. Botsford, Perry's defense attorney, said he was outraged by what he called "political abuse of the court system" with "no legal basis."

Lehmberg, and the grand jury that indicted Perry, are based in Austin, which is heavily Democratic, in contrast to most of the rest of conservative Texas.

Abuse of official capacity is a first-degree felony with potential punishments of 5-99 years in prison. Coercion of a public servant carries 2-10 years.

In office since 2000, Perry isn't seeking re-election in November as he readies for what many believe will be second run for the White House in 2016.

When he ran for president in 2012, Perry plummeted from brief front-runner for the Republican nomination to national punchline after a series of gaffes.

None greater than his infamous "oops" moment:

Rick Perry Stumbles in Debate
Rick Perry's campaign for president is probably done for after this almost comically bad performance in last night's debate. OOPS.

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he was just joking when he said he would sent two nuclar missiles to russia.


I am glad Perry finally got what was coming to him. He has been governor of Texas for too long, anyway. He pulled the bully tactic and it backfired on him.. Rosemary Lehmberg, you go girl, you didn't let that fool bully you. Love you.


This is bull. Drunk driver? She should've stepped down. No question.
But, talk about abuse of official capacity, ahem, Obama's still skating (and taking vacations on our dime) after far worse abuse of his official capacity.

@ Holly L Carlson

All of you below with the inane comparisons of vacation days between presidents:
Obviously you missed the point--it ain't about the vacations. It's about the abuse of power. If he were an effective president, who would care how much vacation or golf days he takes? But, instead, he's racked up the highest deficits of any president ever and shamelessly goes off spending more of our money exorbitantly on himself and his family, and curiously manages to do it in the middle of one or another crisis. Do _your_ research. Get _your_ facts right, folks. Otherwise, you're just confirming your biases and justifying your support of an utterly failed president by comparing to failings of some other president who did something you don't like.

@ Holly L Carlson

Reagan and the two Bushs took more vacations than any presidents in US history. President Obama does not come close in vacation time that Reagan and the two Bushs. Get your facts right, sparkie.

@ Holly L Carlson

The whole dumbocrat and replub party thing is a joke makes me sick to watch how our country continues to decline. Odumber is the biggest joke of a president we have ever had how people defend this idiot is beyond understanding. I guess for someone like myself that uses their brain you can't make sense out of stupidity.

@ Holly L Carlson

Yeah, totally agree... abuse of power, and yeah, don't forget Bush and Iraq. Talk about spending 'our' dimes. Do a little research my friend on <real> costs of presidential vacations.

@ Gods Savior

Thank you , many Obama haters tend to overlook those facts


Grand Jury are a waste of time & money, Judges know if there's sufficient evidence for a trial!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Gov Perry tried to get a local district attorney to resign after she had to be handcuffed and restrained following an arrest for drunk driving. But oh no ! She is a government employee and cannot be fired ! No matter what ! If you impinge on them then you become the problem. Just like the IRS ! They can do anything, they are immune from anyone trying to rein in their powers and privileges. We have two classes in this country, those who are part of the government and the rest who just have to pay to keep them happy !