As Republicans in the House move forward with a lawsuit against Barack Obama citing perceived abuses of his executive power, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is facing his own legal problems.
An Austin grand jury voted on Friday to indict the Republican on two felony counts related to a public disagreement he had with Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. After Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving in 2013, the Associated Press reports that Perry urged her to step down from her post as Austin’s top attorney.
With a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, Perry was among several state leaders who thought Lehmberg should step down in light of the arrest. Following her release from jail, however, she opted to remain in office.
Grand jury testimony asserted that Perry followed up by threatening to veto a multimillion dollar funding bill that would benefit the public integrity unit headed by Lehmberg.
He eventually went through with the promise; and according to the leftist watchdog group Texans for Public Justice, his action constituted a breach of power. The organization subsequently filed an ethics complaint, claiming that Perry was guilty of coercion in announcing his intention to cut the funding after calling for Lehmberg’s resignation.
Huge news, liberals trying to destroy Rick Perry with bogus indictment… http://t.co/Scs90mqnqO
— Young Conservatives (@YoungCons) August 15, 2014
After the grand jury convened several months ago to consider the case, Perry denied any wrongdoing.
“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto power afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” spokesperson Lucy Nashed said, “and we remain ready and willing to assist with this inquiry.”
Rick Perry statement on indictment: http://t.co/5rNJ52wsFm “We will ultimately prevail”
— Colin Campbell (@BKcolin) August 15, 2014
The two charges being pursued, abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, carry maximum sentences of 99 and 10 years, respectively.
Read the entire indictment below: