Gov. Rick Perry responds to ‘farce’ of indictment

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivered short, prepared remarks Saturday afternoon saying Friday’s indictment is “nothing more than abuse of power.”

“As governor, I took an oath to faithfully uphold the constitution of Texas, a pledge that I have kept every day as I’ve worked on behalf of Texans for the last 14 years. This same constitution clearly outlines the authority of any governor to veto items at his or her discretion,” he said.

Perry was indicted on counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant stemming from his threat to veto of $7.5 million in state funding to the Public Integrity Unit run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s office. The threat came after she pleaded guilty to drunk driving and served a 45-day sentence; Perry called on her to step down but she refused to resign her position. Perry then vetoed the funding for the PIU.

“I whole heartedly, and unequivocally stand behind my veto,” Perry Said. “We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country.”

Perry concluded saying, “…this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is, and that those responsible will be held to account.”

State Democrats responded immediately after the remarks.

“Twenty six million Texans woke up this morning not facing two felony indictments and their governor did. This in unbecoming of their chief law enforcement official in Texas,” said Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Will Hailer. “His ambitions are to run for higher office. And in the process he has abused his constitutional authority and his power here in Texas. And that’s why he needs to step down.”

Full text of Gov. Rick Perry’s remarks

Gov. Rick Perry today made the following statement regarding the decision by the Travis County Grand Jury:

“As governor, I took an oath to faithfully uphold the constitution of Texas, a pledge that I have kept every day as I’ve worked on behalf of Texans for the last 14 years. This same constitution clearly outlines the authority of any governor to veto items at his or her discretion. Just as I have following every legislative session during my service as governor, I exercised this authority to veto funding for an office whose leadership had lost the public’s confidence by acting inappropriately and unethically.

“I wholeheartedly and unequivocally stand behind my veto, and will continue to defend this lawful action of my executive authority as governor. 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 an abuse of power and I cannot, and will not, allow that to happen. I intend to fight against those who would erode our state’s constitution and laws purely for political purposes, and I intend to win. I will explore every legal avenue to expedite this matter and bring it to a swift conclusion. I am confident we will ultimately prevail, that this farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is, and that those responsible will be held to account.”

blog comments powered by Disqus