In a seemingly unprecedented move, a special prosecutor in Travis County, Texas has obtained an indictment against Gov. Rick Perry for two felonies after he used his office of governor to request the resignation of the Travis County district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, after she was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 45 days in jail for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and then later vetoed funding for her office when she failed to step down.
Video footage of Lehmberg's arrest in April, 2013 after sheriff's deputy found her operating her car with an open bottle of vodka shows her acting in a highly unprofessional manner towards the arresting law enforcement officers. Her blood alcohol level was over 3 times the legal limit. After a civil suit seeking her removal from office failed, Gov. Perry requested her removal. After she refused, he vetoed $7.2 million funding in her budget that is used for prosecuting public corruption, forcing Lehmberg to turn to county taxpayers to replace the lost funding. Democrats claim Perry was motivated to keep Lehmberg from prosecuting public corruption within his administration. Perry would have appointed Lehmberg's replacement had she resigned. Federal prosecutors appointed by President Obama could prosecute crimes involving Perry's administration if it believed crimes were being committed.
Firing back, a special prosecutor was named, who today announced that a grand jury with whom he had reviewed evidence in the case had returned two felony charges against Gov. Perry, including one felony charge of abuse of official capacity and a second felony for coercion of a public official. The charges are not related to his actual veto of the funding for her office's public integrity unit; rather, it was the threat he made in advance to veto the funding if she remained in office. The first charge carries a penalty of 5-99 years in prison, and the second charge is punishable by 2-10 years. Gov. Perry will now be forced to do the same perp walk that Lehmberg complained to sheriff's deputies would destroy her political career. Gov. Perry's chief legal counsel released this relatively tame response to news of today's indictments:
“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution. We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.”Perry, a former Republican presidential candidate, has been highly critical of the Obama administration's failure to enforce illegal immigration along the Texas border. He recently ordered Texas national guard troops to help secure the border since the Department of Homeland Security is allowing illegal aliens to cross the border at will, including many unaccompanied minors from Central America. Local government budgets of communities along the border tasked with handling the influx of illegal aliens are being tested. Gov. Perry has also complained that Texans have been the victims of many crimes perpetrated by illegal aliens. President Obama has made recent fundraising trips to Texas but has refused to sit down and discuss the border problems with Gov. Perry and local officials.
The Travis County prosecutor's office in heavily Democratic Austin, Texas has a long history of being used by Democratic prosecutors to launch politically-motivated prosecutions of Republicans. See the video below of Lehmberg's arrest and ask yourself if you would feel comfortable with this woman holding what is arguably one of the most powerful law enforcement positions in Texas. Democrats nationally rail daily about a supposed threat that Republicans will seek to impeach President Obama because of his abuse of executive powers. Yet here we have a highly partisan move to use the criminal justice system to remove Perry from office, who has been easily elected three times as that state's governor, rather than seeking his removal through the impeachment process, which they know a Republican-controlled legislature would never do. Incredibly, Lehmberg has yet to be disciplined by the state's attorney disciplinary commission for her actions. An ethics complaint was recently filed against her by the same Austin attorney who unsuccessfully filed a civil suit to remove her from office for not reporting campaign contributions she used for her legal defense. Excuse me for expressing my total loss of faith in our justice system in this country. Watch the phony civil rights advocates like Sheila Kennedy celebrate Perry's indictment just like they did when Bill Clinton got by with committing perjury and using the powers of his office to obstruct justice.