"I am here today because I believe in the rule of law and because I did the right thing.
I will enter the courthouse with my head held high, knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal, but right.
If I had to do so, I would veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit again. I think any governor - Democrat or Republican - would expect this important unit, with jurisdiction over state officials, be led by someone who lives up to the highest standards of conduct and personal integrity.
The facts are clear. Governors have the right to exercise veto authority, and my friend Rick Perry exercised his constitutional authority and stood up for responsible government when he vetoed funding for a Texas agency run by someone who pled guilty to DWI and served 45 days in jail. One only needs to see a few highlights from the video of District Attorney Lehmberg’s arrest – during which she spits at law enforcement and is restrained to see why she wasn't fit for her job as head of the Public Integrity Unit!
The so-called "abuse of power" indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not only not going to hurt him in the 2016 GOP sweepstakes but it might actually help him. I say that because Perry immediately fired back at the charges with no hesitation, labeling the indictment the partisan political ploy that it really is. And in terms of threatening to veto legislation that would have funded the state's Public Integrity Unit, run by Travis County district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, Perry held his Texas constitutional ground. In a number of TV appearances, Perry not only said that he was legally authorized to defund the DA but that he would do it all over again if he had the chance.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has mastered a critical political skill: Take advantage of your opportunities. First on the border crisis and now on his own indictment, he has shown an uncanny ability to seize the national stage and convey his impressive leadership skills. He is also going a long way toward rebutting the notion that he is a swaggering, not very serious pol — the image that was affixed to him after his disastrous 2012 presidential run.
Prosecutorial abuse for partisan purposes is common these days, and the latest display is taking place in the all-too-familiar venue of Austin, Texas. On Friday a Travis County prosecutor indicted Governor Rick Perry for the high crime of exercising his constitutional right to free speech and his legal power to veto legislation.
Lest you think we oversimplify, read the two-count indictment. It's all of two pages. It charges Mr. Perry with abusing his office by "threatening to veto legislation that had been approved and authorized by the Legislature of the State of Texas to provide funding for the continued operation of the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney's office unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned from her official position as elected District Attorney."
HOUSTON, Texas — Texas Governor Rick Perry addressed a small group of about 100 soldiers of the Texas National Guard who are undergoing training at Camp Swift prior to being deployed to the Texas/Mexico Border. Gov. Perry had asked for 1,000 troops to volunteer for the deployment to defend a portion of the Texas border but was happy to announce that 2,200 Guardsmen had volunteered to serve the Lone Star State.
AUSTIN – 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.”
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today visited the Camp Swift Army National Guard Training facility for a status report on the Texas National Guard’s (TXNG) training and deployment in support of Operation Strong Safety to combat crime and drug cartel activity in the border region. The governor, joined by Texas Adjutant General John Nichols and Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) Director Steve McCraw, thanked the soldiers and airmen for their commitment and dedication to protecting our state and our nation.
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today issued the following statement on the latest on-time high school graduation rates released by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The class of 2013 earned the highest-ever high school graduation rate for Texas students.