Texas Governor Rick Perry asked a state judge to throw out his indictment on public corruption charges, claiming the prosecution which his lawyers have called a political attack is barred on constitutional grounds.
Perry assailed the felony abuse-of-office charges as an assault on the state government’s separation of powers and asked that his indictment be dismissed, according to papers filed in Austin state court today.
Perry, a Republican and potential candidate for president in 2016, said his authority to veto any legislation or spending measure is his right as governor and is “the key limitation” on the state legislature.
“Subjecting any sitting governor to a criminal prosecution and injecting the judiciary into a political dispute would be an unprecedented assault on this cherished separation of powers,” Perry’s lawyers said in the filing.
Perry is accused of abusing his authority by cutting the funding of a statewide public integrity agency in retaliation against its prosecutor, a Democrat, for refusing to resign. Perry has argued that he was within his rights as governor because the impaired judgment of the prosecutor, Rosemary Lehmberg, as evidenced by a drunk-driving arrest, justified a decision to seek her resignation.
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