Texas Gov. Rick Perry indicted for alleged abuse of power; smacks of political payback

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In a move that smacks of political payback, a Travis County grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official.

Both charges are felonies and the Republican governor could face up to 99 years in prison if found guilty.

Fox News reported that the indictment followed attempts by Perry to remove Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg — a Democrat — from office after she pleaded guilty to drunken driving in April 2013.

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Lehmberg’s blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, and jail officials videotaped her belligerent behavior during the booking process, Fox News reported.

Breitbart News contributor Sarah Rumph posted a copy of the video in her report on Friday’s developments:

Lehmberg was sentenced to 45 days in jail, serving about half of the time. In response to the incident, Perry said he’d veto money for a public integrity unit run by Lehmberg’s office if she didn’t resign, and did so when she refused to step down.

Perry’s general counsel, Mary Anne Wiley, released a statement Friday saying the governor actions were legal.

“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” she said. “We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.”

Of little surprise, the Texas Democratic Party called on Perry to resign.

As the day’s news made the rounds on social media, many on the right were quick to offer their take on why the possible 2016 GOP presidential contender was targeted:

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