Rick Perry

Travis County Jail

Update (8/20):  Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team are waiving their client's right to an arraignment and Perry has pleaded not guilty to both felony counts involving abusing the power of his office.

Perry is charged with abuse of power, a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years in jail, and coercion, a third-degree felony punishable by 10 years in jail. 

rickperry.org

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s legal team said the governor’s 2013 announcement and veto of the state public integrity unit budget was the governor’s right to free speech and his desire to be transparent about his intended plans. Perry's attorneys say the court will see that the governor’s words did not constitute a threat.

In downtown Austin on Monday, just a few blocks from the state capitol, Houston attorney Tony Buzbee announced that he is Perry’s lead counsel on the case and then called the indictment "Banana Republic politics." 

Office of the Governor

The indictment of Gov. Rick Perry on two corruption-related felony counts took the state by surprise on Friday.

The abuse of power charge stems from Perry threatening to veto the funding of Travis County's public integrity unit unless Travis County District Attorney Rosmary Lehmberg resigned. She didn't and Perry vetoed the funds.

rickperry.org

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is calling the criminal indictments filed against him for coercion a political play. Perry contends he was only exercising his constitutional right to threaten and then veto the budget for the state’s public integrity unit and then called the indictments a partisan attack.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has been charged with felony counts of abuse of power over his veto of funding for a public corruption office, fired back today, calling the indictment politically motivated.

"I did nothing wrong," the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate said at a brief news conference in Austin, Texas.

"This indictment amounts to nothing more than an abuse of power, and I cannot and I will not allow that to happen," Perry told reporters.

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