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Texas Court Dismisses Indictment Against Former Gov. Rick Perry

The top criminal appeals court in Texas just formally dismissed the last of two felony charges against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.


The top criminal appeals court in Texas just dismissed the nearly two-year-old felony indictment against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The first of two charges against Perry was dismissed last July.

Today’s dismissal by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals of the second charge against Perry marks the end of the case against him:

Texas’ highest criminal court tossed the second and final felony charge against former Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday, likely ending a case the Republican says helped sink his short-lived 2016 presidential bid.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals dismissed the abuse-of-power charge, which was filed after Perry threatened — and then carried out — a veto of state funding for a group of public corruption prosecutors after the Democratic head of the unit refused to resign.

A lower appeals court dismissed the other charge, coercion by a public servant, in July.

The longest-serving governor in Texas history, Perry left office in January 2015 while facing a felony indictment

Perry was indicted in August of 2014 by a Travis County jury for the twin crimes of threatening to veto a bill and then vetoing a bill. The ordeal began when Travis County district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested for driving drunk in 2013. Blood tests taken after her arrest showed that Lehmberg had a blood alcohol level of .239. Daschcam and police station videos, which went viral shortly after her arrest, showed Lehmberg lashing out at police and threatening to use her power as district attorney to punish them for arresting her.

Police were eventually forced to restrain her and fit her with a Hannibal Lecter-style face mask:

Following public outrage over Lehmberg’s behavior, Perry threatened to veto funding for a statewide public corruption unit that she headed unless she resigned. Perry cited Lehmberg’s drunk driving arrest and subsequent threats to police as evidence that she could not be trusted to oversee a unit that existed to root out corrupt public officials.

Special prosecutor Michael McCrum, egged on by the leftist non-profit Progress Texas, empaneled a grand jury to consider public corruption charges not against Lehmberg, but against Perry, for using his power as governor to veto a bill. Perry was formally indicted by that grand jury in August of 2014.

Had he been convicted, Perry could have faced up to 109 years in prison for the heinous crimes of explaining why he planned to veto a bill and then vetoing it.

You can read the full court ruling dismissing the indictment here.