AUSTIN (KXAN) – Governor Rick Perry arrived at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin right at 5 p.m. Tuesday to be booked on felony charges stemming from an indictment issued Friday.
Perry arrived to supporters chanting “Perry, Perry Perry!” before stopping to briefly speak with the media before walking inside.
“I’m here today because I believe in the rule of law,” the Texas Governor said. He continued to speak saying the actions he took were “lawful and legal.”
“If I had to do so, I would veto funding for the public integrity unit again,” he said.
Gov. Perry then walked into the justice center where he shook the hand of deputies working the booking desk. From there, he had his mug shot and fingerprints taken. He spent about 15 minutes being booked before walking out and addressing the media.
“As required by Law, I reported to the county authorities a moment ago,” he said before going on to thank the deputies for their work and professional treatment.
“This indictment is fundamentally a political act which seeks to achieve at the courthouse what could not be done at the ballot box,” he proclaimed. Perry then launched into what’s become a common theme since he first addressed the indictment Saturday saying Texas doesn’t settle political differences with indictments.
The governor concluded by declaring “We will prevail!”
Perry then made his way to Sandy’s in downtown Austin where he picked up an ice cream cone.
His attorney Tony Buzbee told CNN the governor’s booking would be the same as anyone else facing an indictment,
“This is a complete waste of time and money, but he will do everything everyone else would have to do (in this situation,)” he said.
“I agree with one thing [Gov. Perry] said, which is this is significant, this is important,”Jan Soifer, Travis County Democratic Party. “The truth is that the governor was indicted for trying to do illegally what he’s not permitted to do legally.”
State Democrats drew attention to what they believe are the governors tactics.
“The governor has to win two battles here. He has to win a public perception and he’s got to win in the courtroom,” said Will Hailer, Executive Director of the Texas Democratic Party. “And the governor will do whatever it takes to make it look like support is on his side. At the end of the day, the governor broke the law.”
Media have been gathered outside the courthouse in effort to document the governor’s booking process since his indictment was announced Friday. Dozens of cameras were outside waiting for the governor’s arrival.
The Texas governor was indicted Friday on counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.
At the center of the issue is a complaint about intimidation stemming from Perry’s threat to veto of $7.5 million in state funding to the Public Integrity Unit run by 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.