Texas Gov. Rick Perry could be facing 109 years in prison after being indicted by a grand jury for abuse of power.
According to KXAN:
A grand jury has handed up an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry in connection with the investigation into an effort to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign.
At the center of the issue is a complaint about intimidation stemming from Perry’s threat to veto of $3.7 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.
A grand jury was called to determine whether or not Perry broke the law when he threatened to veto the funding. As a result they issued indictments on two felony charges: abuse of official capacity and coercion of public servant. If found guilty on the charges, Perry could be sentenced to a maximum 109 years in prison.
Instead of worrying about a potential 2016 presidential campaign, Perry better start thinking about avoiding prison. Unlike Chris Christie, Rick Perry was engaging in an obvious and overt abuse of power. In April, PoliticusUSA reported that Perry was the focus of a criminal investigation. Gov. Perry abused his power by trying to pressure another elected official to resign. He crossed the line when he withheld funding for the state’s Public Integrity Unit.
The potential 2016 Republican candidates are dropping like flies. Scott Walker is saddled with the John Doe investigation. Chris Christie has Bridgegate, but Rick Perry is the only one of the three to go the full Bob McDonnell route and face criminal charges. (Criminal charges against Walker and Christie have not been filed yet.)
Rick Perry’s Twitter account responded to the indictment by asking for money to help elect Republican candidates:
Help RickPAC elect candidates who support a strong border, new jobs, smaller gov’t, and fiscal responsibility. https://t.co/D5KcyPaIWV
— Rick Perry (@GovernorPerry) August 15, 2014
Republican gets indicted, and he responded with a plea for money to help elect more Republican leaders who are just like him. Rick Perry is officially toast. He may still try to run for president as long as he isn’t in prison, or a convicted felon by 2016, but Perry career is officially over.
Gov. Perry may soon be trading in his smart boy glasses for an orange jumpsuit.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association