Author Topic: Gov. Rick Perry indicted for abuse of power for carrying out threat to veto prosecutors' funds  (Read 348 times)

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Offline Carling

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http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/271457701.html

AUSTIN, Texas — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state 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 nix $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit, which is run by Travis County District Rosemary Lehmberg's office. Several top aides to the Republican governor appeared before grand jurors in Austin, including his deputy chief of staff, legislative director and general counsel. Perry himself wasn't called to testify.

He was indicted by an Austin grand jury on felony counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. Maximum punishment on the first charge is five to 99 years in prison. The second is two to 10 years.

Perry said Lehmberg, who is based in Austin, should resign after she was arrested and plead guilty to drunken driving in April 2013. A video recording made at the jail showed Lehmberg shouting at staffers to call the sheriff, kicking the door of her cell and sticking her tongue out.

Lehmberg served about half of her 45-day jail sentence but stayed in office, despite Perry's assertions that her behavior was inappropriate.


Perry eventually carried out his veto threat. No one disputes that he is allowed to veto measures approved by the Legislature, including part or all of the state budget. But the left-leaning Texans for Public Justice government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint accusing the governor of coercion since he threatened to use his veto before actually doing so in an attempt to pressure Lehmberg to quit.

The indictment is the first of its kind since 1917, when James "Pa" Ferguson was indicted on charges stemming from his veto of state funding to the University of Texas in effort to unseat faculty and staff members he objected to. Ferguson was eventually impeached, then resigned before being convicted — allowing his wife, Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, to take over the governorship.

In office since 2000 and already the longest-serving governor in Texas history, Perry isn't seeking re-election in November. But the ongoing criminal investigation could mar his political prospects as he mulls another run at the White House, after his 2012 presidential bid flamed out.

Lehmberg, a Democrat, faced pressure from other high-profile Republicans in addition to Perry to give up her post. Her blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit for driving, and she eventually served about half of a 45-day jail sentence.

Meanwhile, the jail video led to an investigation of Lehmberg by a separate grand jury, which decided she should not be removed for official misconduct.


Lehmberg oversees the office's public integrity unit, which investigates statewide allegations of corruption and political wrongdoing. Perry said he wouldn't allow Texas to fund the unit while Lehmberg remained in charge. He used his line-item veto power to remove funding for the unit from the Texas budget.

Perry and his aides say he didn't break any laws.

"The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto power afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution, and we remain ready and willing to assist with this inquiry," spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said in April, after the grand jury was convened in the case.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 07:28:44 PM by Carling »
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Offline Carling

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Forget the police.  Prosecutors are the local authority figures I fear the most. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7y7oJ266qI#t=15
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 07:34:42 PM by Carling »
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Offline Atomic Cow

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This is nothing but a political hit and political payback.  They know in the end nothing will happen just like with Tom Delay, but they can take Perry out for 2016 and perhaps try to help Abortion Barbie in the upcoming election.

The Texas Legislature needs to remove this authority from the Travis County DA and give it to the AG's office where it belongs.

Travis County is the liberal boil on the butt of Texas, and they regularly go after Republicans on trumped up charges.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton

Offline Carling

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The appointed special prosecutor is accused of having a witness leave in order not to testify.  Of course, a Democratic judge allowed this Democratic defense attorney to do so.   :whistle:

http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Defense-attorney-wins-ruling-in-contempt-case-5271420.php#/0



« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 09:32:39 PM by Carling »
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Offline Carling

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The Texas Legislature needs to remove this authority from the Travis County DA and give it to the AG's office where it belongs.

Kay Bailey Hutchinson indicted by Travis DA.  Charges dropped

Tom DeLay indicted by Travis DA.  Charges dropped

Rick Perry indicted by drunk Travis DA.  I assume charges will be dropped.  The bad news for the Dems is, even in reading the Austin online paper, people see right through this ruse.
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Offline Carling

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Perry should refuse to show up for arraignment and booking and become a fugitive.  Let's see if the Dems have the balls to storm the governor's house and frog-march him into custody. 
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Offline Carling

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« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 10:00:24 PM by Carling »
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Online jmyrlefuller

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This is nothing but a political hit and political payback.  They know in the end nothing will happen just like with Tom Delay, but they can take Perry out for 2016 and perhaps try to help Abortion Barbie in the upcoming election.
After 2012, I doubt trying to take Perry out for 2016 is even necessary. He did enough damage to his profile with his Fred Thompsonesque “waltz into the campaign late” gambit.

Besides, this is a classic case of sovereign immunity: the county DAs derive their power solely from the state government, and thus cannot prosecute a sitting state elected official for performing his or her official duties. This is the same reason a police officer can't arrest the President.
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Offline Atomic Cow

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Besides, this is a classic case of sovereign immunity: the county DAs derive their power solely from the state government, and thus cannot prosecute a sitting state elected official for performing his or her official duties. This is the same reason a police officer can't arrest the President.

In Texas, the Travis County DA has the authority to prosecute any and all state officials including federal ones.  You can blame the legislature for giving them this power and not removing it when the Travis County DA became a political hack who uses their office to take out people based only the fact that they are Republicans.
"...And these atomic bombs which science burst upon the world that night were strange, even to the men who used them."  H. G. Wells, The World Set Free, 1914

"The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." -Lord Acton


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