A Travis County grand jury has chosen to indict Governor Rick Perry. The indictment comes after an investigation into whether Perry abused his power as governor by attempting to coerce Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg into resigning by vetoing funds to the Public Integrity Unit, which she heads.
Perry was charged with two felonies, Abuse of Official Capacity, a first-degree felony, and Coercion of a Public Servant, a third-degree felony. The indictment papers say Perry, “intentionally or knowingly influenced or attempted to influence Rosemary Lehmberg, a public servant, the elected District Attorney for Travis County, in the specific performance of her official duty.”
Perry’s charges carry a punishment of up to 109 years in prison and up $20k in fines.
In response to Perry’s indictment, the Texas Democratic Party responded with this statement.
“Governor Rick Perry has brought dishonor to his office, his family and the state of Texas. Texans deserve to have leaders that stand up for what is right and work to help families across Texas. The indictment today shows a failure of Governor Perry to follow the law,” said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa in a statement. “[…]We call on Governor Perry to immediately step down from office. Texans deserve real leadership and this is unbecoming of our Governor.”
After being booked on criminal charges, Perry, a potential 2016 Presidential candidate went out for ice cream.