August 22nd, 2014
05:39 PM ET
1 month ago

Perry: ‘I don't really understand the details’ of indictment charges

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday he's not familiar with the legal language of the indictment handed up against him by a grand jury in Travis County last week.

"I've been indicted by that same body now for, I think, two counts: One of bribery, which I'm not a lawyer so I don't really understand the details here," he said in a lengthy explanation of the case before a New Hampshire audience.

In New Hampshire, Rick Perry says he's getting prepared

Perry was not indicted for bribery, but counts alleging coercion of a public servant and abuse of power relating to a political controversy.

The case centers on Perry's threat to veto in June 2013 of $7.5 million approved by the Legislature to fund a public integrity unit run by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat. He wanted her out, following a drunk-driving arrest. He ultimately vetoed the measure and she refused to leave.

"I made the decision - if I'm going to be held responsible for making decisions about where Texas taxpayer money gets spent - I was not funding that agency," Perry said. "As long as that individual was there, I did not feel comfortable. I think the general public did not feel comfortable."

Arguing that the office "has been politically motivated through the years," Perry said prosecutors were mounting a partisan attack against the governor.

He referenced former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay as two Republicans previously indicted in Travis County. (Hutchison was acquitted. DeLay was convicted, but his conviction was overturned.)

"I refer to Travis County as the blueberry in the tomato soup if you know what I mean," Perry said, referring to the liberal-leaning political views in the Austin area, compared to other parts of the reliably red state.

Perry vows to fight the charges, which he and his legal team are framing as a political attack against the Republican governor.

His attorney said Friday at Perry's arraignment hearing, which the governor was not required to attend, that he plans to seek to dismiss the case.

"I think this is an attack on the constitutional duties of a governor. I'm going to fight this with every fiber of my being," he said, saying "the rule of law" was at stake. "It's not lost on me how important this is for our country."


Filed under: 2016 • New Hampshire • Rick Perry
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. don in albuquerque

    "I don't really understand......" We are not "really" surprised.

    August 22, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I've been indicted by that same body now for, I think, two counts: One of bribery, which I'm not a lawyer so I don't really understand the details here,"
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Well Reggin, you may want to phone a friend, poll the audience or buy a clue, but for damn sure you definitely do not want that dumbazz response to come out of your felonious mouth again, especially if you're thinking about running for President!
    OMG!
    I didn't think it was possible for Ricky to get dumber, but he has.

    August 22, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    "Perry: ‘I don't really understand the details’ of indictment charges"

    Cowboy Fonzie doesn't understand something. Color us all so very very shocked. Maybe if he first started with an understanding of the rules in the first place, he wouldn't have gotten indicted in the first place..

    August 22, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. Flagship, NC

    Not good, not good at all. The clown car just got a new paint job.

    August 22, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  5. Smitty

    Its an Obumbles move, drunk prosecuter wasting tax payer money. Go get them Mr. Perry !! Its clear that Obumbles and the dems cannot handle running America.

    August 22, 2014 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  6. rs

    Hardly a surprise he doesn't "understand" really. Trying to blame a Republican prosecutor's and grand jury's indictment on Democrats PROVES that!
    Reading the Texas papers online shows how much more serious this is than the national media outlet's are making it. Perry is toast as a Presidential candidate. Best thing? His CC license is dead owing to his felony charges!

    August 22, 2014 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "sifto77

    Sniffit..point is, we only heard about it from liberal media after he was forced to apologize..you libs are more entrenched than we even dreamed if you stick up for the slimy reid.."

    LOL! You're complaining that something that happened Thursday night wasn't reported until Friday morning and that Reid was "forced" to apologize when he pretty much did so right away and without caveats, conditions or rationalizations? Lame. Do you guys even listen to yourselves?

    August 22, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. rs

    Smitty

    Its an Obumbles move, drunk prosecuter wasting tax payer money. Go get them Mr. Perry !! Its clear that Obumbles and the dems cannot handle running America.
    _________________
    Dream much, Smitty?

    August 22, 2014 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    And because this loudmouthed gun-worshipping Teatroll turd went public with statements about the people who were "responsible for the grand jury indictment" being "brought to account" or some such other threatening nonsense, the judge had to instruct him not to threaten the jury or potential jurors. He was indicted by a jury of his peers who were given evidence on which to decide it, not by someone in a back room office who has a grudge. Cowboy Fonzie is an arrogant imbecile, plain and simple.

    August 22, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Bigd

    What do you understand ? Maybe you should be at home trying to catch all those ISIS troops crossing your border

    August 22, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    Smitty
    Ho hum....Same song second verse. Let us all join hands in "Smitty's Church of Divine Comedy" , turn to page six in your hymnal and sing "We Are Poor Little Lambs".

    August 22, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. ja

    Didn't hire a high powered law firm, of course he will play dumb

    August 22, 2014 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    It is not the first time Democrats have used the legal system to smear and attack their opponents and it won't be the last time. They did it with the IRS and other federal agencies and this is no different.

    August 22, 2014 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @rs
    Hardly a surprise he doesn't "understand" really. Trying to blame a Republican prosecutor's and grand jury's indictment on Democrats PROVES that!
    Reading the Texas papers online shows how much more serious this is than the national media outlet's are making it. Perry is toast as a Presidential candidate. Best thing? His CC license is dead owing to his felony charges!
    ------------
    " Trying to blame a Republican prosecutor's and grand jury's indictment on Democrats PROVES that!"
    Good one. When conservatives don't like the facts of the situation, they always blame and create a new fantasy narrative.
    Let's just say that GOP prosecutor will have trouble if he wants a political career – he just failed the Holy Purity test.

    August 22, 2014 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. ja

    Insure he understand the speaker's lawsuit

    August 22, 2014 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Bill

    Agreed rs. This clown ought to realize that this indictment comes from republicans in his own state. Read the Texas media coverage that discusses this fact and how Perry is a fool for dismissing the indictment as some sort of democratic smear tactic or witch hunt.

    August 22, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. rs

    "A state district judge from Austin said Thursday that she intends to protect members of the grand jury that indicted Gov. Rick Perry from any threats — veiled or direct — from the governor or anyone else.
    Judge Julie Kocurek, the judge of the 390th District Court, said Perry’s comments on Saturday, a day after the indictment, could be construed as a threat and a possible violation of the law. Kocurek, as the administrative presiding judge of all criminal courts in the county, said that “no one is above the law,” and the public needs to know that grand jurors are legally protected from any threat."
    Austin Statesman 8/22

    August 22, 2014 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    I'll give it a shot.

    You and your cronies routed about 10 million in state insurance funds to some of your top donors. The ethics committee was going to call you on it, and then she got a DUI and you threatened to defund her department by vetoing funding for her department if she did not resign. She didn't and you did. You cannot use coercion by your power in office to threaten an elected official by Travis county voters for something she did while NOT performing her state duties! That I what you are indicted for, not the veto, you moron, oops, that just slipped out! You were indicted by a grand jury of 16-23 Travis county voters. Lady with a long name, with the drinking problem, recused herself, and the case was passed to a Republican judge assigned by The Shrub and it was determined it was a valid case and had merit to proceed.

    Any more questions, simpleton?

    August 22, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. Chris..E.Al

    I really dont know why all of you leftus are bashing the Gov ? The only thing 0bama has done is crash and burn america and has not helped a soul . What did he do for you ? Import 11 mil illegals to pay for and give a free ride for a vote ? We dont have no nestegg to share we got chicken .

    August 22, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. anthony78

    But, but, but... he's wearing the "smart" glasses, is he not?

    August 22, 2014 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  21. MaryM

    lol oops!! Guess Perry forgot about those 2+republican judges that were convicted for DUI and he did not say a word to them about stepping down., Bye bye Perry !!

    August 22, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  22. Iamnotfooled

    Does Perry have the beginning stages of Alzheimer's? Who in their right mind would make this man President of the United States?

    August 22, 2014 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  23. freedom

    He understands plenty! Much more than this president!

    August 22, 2014 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. robert

    And not one word about SOROS funding this 'charges'.

    August 22, 2014 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  25. GOP = Greed Over People

    "I refer to Travis County as the blueberry in the tomato soup if you know what I mean,"

    Perry will have 5-95 years, to learn Spanish for "So, you are another top?" IF you know what I mean!

    August 22, 2014 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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