Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted on Friday, August 15, 2014, for “the high crime of exercising his constitutional right to free speech and his legal power to veto legislation.” The indictment charges him of abusing his office because he threatened to veto legislation for funding the Public Integrity Unit of the district attorney’s (DA) office unless the DA resigned her office. The reason why he wanted her to resign is because she is not fit to hold the office.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was found by police “drunk in her car with a blood alcohol level of 0.23, or nearly three times the legal limit.” She is a convicted drunk driver and spent time in jail.
Governor Perry said he would veto the funds unless Ms. Lehmberg resigned; he argued that “a prosecutor who breaks the law and abuses law enforcement shouldn’t judge the `public integrity’ of others in government.” She would not step down, and the Governor used his line-item veto power to remove the appropriation. If convicted, he faces 109 years in prison!
The indictment is obviously a political attempt to destroy Governor Perry, making him the first sitting Texas governor in almost 100 years to be indicted. It also throws uncertainty over a possible run for President of the United States. Democrats at both the state and national levels are calling for his resignation.
Governor Perry is not going away quietly. In a packed six-minute news conference near his office, he denounced the charges and said he “wholeheartedly and unequivocally stand behind my veto and will continue to defend this lawful action of my executive authority as governor.” He added, “We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country.” He declared that he would remain in office until the end of his term and would ultimately defeat the charges.
Judge Jeanine Pirro, former district attorney and former judge, spent approximately five minutes explaining why the indictment was wrong; she also destroyed the credibility of Ms. Lehmberg.
Austin, the capital of Texas, and the surrounding Travis County are liberal; in fact, it is the only Democratic county in a very conservative Texas. This is not the first time a conservative Texas has been indicted and a political career destroyed without cause.
As soon as this case hits the court, the judge should immediately throw it out. If a grand jury can indict a governor or a president for doing a line-item veto, every governor in America as well as every President of the United States would be in danger of being indicted. I wish Governor Perry success in fighting this indictment!