Indictment draws out calls to resign, support for Gov. Perry

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Governor Rick Perry vowed Saturday to fight a grand jury’s indictment, called the prosecution a “farce”, and insisted he acted within the limits of the law.

As the grand jury released the indictment and Gov. Perry responded, so did critics and supporters. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a post on Twitter that he is standing with Perry. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, posted to Twitter asking Perry to Resign.

“[Gov. Perry] tried to go after a DA, who by the way faced the tune of her charges. He tried to get her out of office and that is specifically of an abuse of power that we see,” said Will Hailer, executive director of the Texas Democratic Party.

“We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country,” said Perry. “It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state’s constitution.”

Texans for Public Justice responds to Perry political accusations

During Saturday’s press conference following his indictment, Gov. Rick Perry chalked the matter up to partisan politics – likely pointing to certain Democrats in Travis County. KXAN asked Texans for Public Justice – the group that filed the complaint – to respond to that accusation. TPJ is an Austin-based non-profit that takes on political and corporate corruption.
 
“We’ve been around for 16 years, and every top state official in that time has been a Republican,” said TPJ Director Craig McDonald. “We have in the course of our history filed complaints against Democrats – similar complaints for abuse or corruption – so we’re bipartisan in that respect.”
 
McDonald pointed out the following about filing the complaint in left-leaning Travis County:
  • The prosecutor and judges there recused themselves.
  • The complaint was then passed to Williamson County state district Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield – a Republican who was appointed to his office by Perry.
  • Stubblefield appointed San Antonio senior state district Judge Robert “Bert” Richardson – also a Republican – to preside over the case.
  • Richardson appointed a special prosecutor to lead the case against Perry – Michael McCrum, a San Antonio defense lawyer who served as an assistant U.S. attorney under former President George H.W. Bush.
 
“For the governor to say that this is just politics being played doesn’t square with the facts,” said McDonald.
[View the story "Reaction to Gov. Perry's Indictment, in 140 characters or fewer" on Storify]
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