Perry Indictment

Appeals Court Rejects One Count in Perry Indictment

Jul 24, 2015
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: A state appeals court on Friday ruled against one of two counts in the indictment against former Gov. Rick Perry

The 3rd Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin specifically found a problem with the second count, which alleges Perry coerced a public servant. The court upheld the first count, which accuses Perry of abusing his power.

Perry's legal team called the ruling a "clear step towards victory for the rule of law."

Perry Attorneys Challenge Amended Indictment

Feb 23, 2015
Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

An amended indictment against Rick Perry is "woefully deficient" and should be rejected because it fails to allege a crime was committed when the former governor vetoed funds to the Travis County district attorney's office nearly two years ago, his attorneys said in a court document filed Monday. 

"Governor Perry, as a matter of law, acted within his capacity as Governor when he deliberated with his staff regarding the exercise of his veto and any negotiations regarding that potential veto, directly or through his staff," the defense team argued in its supplemental motion to quash an indictment amended on Feb. 13.

Watch: Day After Judge's Ruling, Perry Vows to Keep Fighting Indictment

Jan 28, 2015
Ben Philpott/KUT News

From the Texas Tribune:

Former Gov. Rick Perry decried a criminal case against him as an attack on his right to free speech and amounted to "the criminalization of politics," one day after a judge ruled that the case could move forward.

"I know my actions were right when faced with a public official's illegal, unethical, and embarrassing public behavior," Perry said, referring to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's drunk driving arrest in 2013.  

KUT News

A judge struck down former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's second request for dismissal of the indictment against him today. This means the case will likely extend for several months more in court, even as Perry continues to mount his presumed presidential campaign.

In August 2014, a Travis County grand jury indicted Perry on two felony charges related to his 2013 veto of funding for the county's Public Integrity Unit.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

The judge in the abuse of power case against Governor Rick Perry is overruling objections from Perry's legal team over the way the special prosecutor was sworn in. 

Perry's attorneys argued that special prosecutor Michael McCrum had not taken the oath of office and filed a required document in the proper way. The defense said because the oath wasn't done properly, McCrum was not authorized to act as prosecutor and everything he had done to this point -- including overseeing grand jury proceedings that produced the indictments against Perry -- were invalid.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From The Texas Tribune:

A bipartisan group of lawyers led by former Texas Solicitor General James C. Ho filed an amicus brief Monday in Austin, asking a judge to dismiss the case against Gov. Rick Perry

KUT News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s lawyers were back in court today, without their client. When the scheduling hearing was over, the judge set a pretrial hearing for Friday, Oct. 31.

One issue to be discussed is whether Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum was properly sworn in, which will determine whether he’s qualified to continue as attorney pro tem, in the place of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From The Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry should not be excused from all hearings leading up to his felony trial because the governor is no different than "any other citizen of Texas," the special prosecutor in the criminal case said in a motion filed Wednesday.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

The indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on criminal charges has gained national attention – particularly since Gov. Perry is being seen as a possible presidential contender.

In a speech given at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Perry defended himself by saying he was acting within the constitutional boundaries of his veto authority. While much of the debate has centered around Perry’s veto authority, the real legal debate is much more serious. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's legal team is fighting back against allegations from his political opponents, who have suggested the reason Perry vetoed funding for a legal unit that investigates public corruption was because it was investigating him.

Governor Perry Booked on Two Felony Counts

Aug 19, 2014
Travis County Sheriff's Office

Texas Governor Rick Perry has been booked at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Complex in Austin on two felony counts: Abuse of Official Capacity and Coercion of a Public Servant.

Perry was fingerprinted and photographed and then left the courthouse.

The charges stem from Perry’s threat to veto state funding for a Travis County based investigative unit with jurisdiction over state officials, unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned in the wake of a DWI conviction.

Speaking at the courthouse today, Perry called his indictment a political witch hunt.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry's legal team made their debut yesterday in a press conference. The collective of high-profile lawyers – which includes alums of the 2000 Bush-Gore recount lawsuit, a multi-jurisdictional workers’ rights case against BP and a former Texas Supreme Court Justice – came out defending the governor’s veto of funding to the state’s Public Integrity Unit.

The team also continued to focus attention away from the two felony charges he faces, insisting that Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg deserved to be removed from office after her arrest and conviction on drunken driving charges, and that the governor was acting in the state’s best interest.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT Austin

Scandals involving governors usually have a bit more meat to them than the one going down in Texas right now.

In Illinois in 2010, former Governor Rod Blagojevich was caught on wiretaps trying to use a vacant U.S. Senate seat for personal gain. He’s now serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison. Right now in Virginia, former Governor Bob McDonnell is facing federal charges of corruption for allegedly taking illegal gifts and loans from the CEO of a dietary supplements company. But with the felony charges against Texas Governor Rick Perry, there’s very little the public knows yet, and that’s led to some confusion.

Wikimedia Commons

James “Pa” Ferguson was the 26th governor of Texas. He was the first and, for 97 years, was the only sitting Texas governor to have charges brought before him.

The indictment of Gov. Rick Perry on two felony counts has many invoking Pa Ferguson’s name and, while there are similarities in the accusations leveled against them – both were accused of withholding state money for political reasons – that’s where most of the similarities end.

KUT’s Jennifer Stayton spoke with Executive Director of the Briscoe Center for American History at U.T.-Austin Don Carleton about Ferguson’s indictment, his demeanor as governor and the similarities and differences in the charges faced by both governors.

Fox News Sunday

The indictment of Governor Rick Perry on charges of abuse of power and coercion follows a general pattern in the U.S. of the “rule of law not being followed,” Perry said this morning on Fox News Sunday, adding it’s partly the result of a “government out of control.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

Texas Governor Rick Perry is facing accusations he broke the law two times when he threatened to veto state funding for a unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office that investigates public corruption. The story includes a lot of legal terminology, so here’s a decoder.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT

Texas Governor Rick Perry firmly rejected criminal charges connected to his 2013 veto of state funding for a public corruption unit in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, labeling the prosecution a “farce” and promising to defend himself vigorously.

“I cannot and I will not allow this to happen,” Perry said at a brief news conference at the State Capitol this afternoon.

“I intend to fight against those who would erode our state’s constitution and laws purely for political purposes, and I intend to win,” he said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, considered a possible GOP presidential candidate in 2016, was indicted on felony abuse-of-power charges late Friday in connection with his veto of funding for state public corruption prosecutors.

The case, which has been bubbling for months, is complicated. Here's a closer look at what we know from various sources:

Bob Daemmrich via Texas Tribune

For the first time in nearly a century, the Texas governor is facing felony charges.

Rick Perry has been indicted by a Travis County grand jury for abuse of office and coercion. The charges mean the sitting governor will be booked and arraigned (with fingerprints and a mugshot); they carry possible jail sentences up to 109 years.

At the heart of the charges is whether or not Perry abused his power by threatening to veto $7.5 million in state funding for the Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit.

How did we get here? We've collected KUT's coverage of this story up until this point to bring you up to date. It begins with the arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg last year.