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Gov Rick Perry Is Booked On Two Felony Charges

Texas Governor Rick Perry was booked on two felony charges Tuesday.

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Front and side mugshots of Governor Rick Perry, booked on two felony counts at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Tuesday, August 19, 2014. Photo by: Austin Police Department

 

Amid a group of supporters — and a smaller group of opponents — Gov. Rick Perry said he would enter the courthouse with his head held high.

“I’m gonna fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. And we will prevail!” said Perry.

Gov. Perry’s been indicted on charges he abused his office when he allegedly demanded Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg resign — or he would veto $7.5 million in state funding for the public integrity unit. That’s the legal team that polices corruption in Texas agencies and by state lawmakers.

The veto threat happened after Lehmberg — who oversees the unit — refused to resign following a drunken driving arrest.

Last week a grand jury indicted Perry on two felony counts. After getting a mug shot and fingerprints taken, he reiterated his innocence.

“I remain focused on the work of the people of this state. Doing the job I was elected to do, and I will not be distracted by these baseless political charges. Thank you and God bless you,” said Perry.

But Jan Soifer — the chair of the Travis County Democratic Party — says this isn’t about Lehmberg being a Democrat.

“He tried through illegal means to remove her from office, because her office was investigating some of his cronies in connection with alleged kickbacks in the cancer research fund,” said Soifer.

Lehmberg’s unit had been investigating a state agency called the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. It was under scrutiny because of accusations of mismanagement and corruption.

Meanwhile, Steve Munisteri — the chair of the Texas Republican Party — says neither the indictment — or the mug shot — will hurt Perry’s presumed 2016 presidential ambitions.

“I have a prediction for you — his standing tall, he’s going to rise in the polls over the next few weeks. I think it’s absolutely going to help him so long as he can get the charges resolved before the Iowa caucuses,” said Munisteri.

Perry’s arraignment is set for Friday. He has plans to visit New Hampshire this weekend and won’t likely be in court then.