Gov. Rick Perry of Texas was indicted on two felony counts on Friday by a state grand jury examining his handling of a local district attorney’s drunken driving arrest and the state financing for a public corruption unit under the lawyer’s control.
The indictment was returned late Friday in Austin.
The investigation centered on Mr. Perry’s veto power as governor. His critics asserted that he used that power as leverage to try to get an elected official and influential Democrat — Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney in Travis County — to step down after her arrest for drunken driving last year. Ms. Lehmberg is Austin’s top prosecutor and oversees a powerful public corruption unit that investigates state, local and federal officials; its work led to the 2005 indictment of a former Republican congressman, Tom DeLay on charges of violating campaign finance laws.If the case goes to trial, and if the jury clears Perry, he can find a precedent for a presidential race.
In 1974, a grand jury indicted John Connally, former Texas governor and Treasury Secretary for accepting a $10,000 bribe from milk producers. A jury acquitted him. He sought the 1980 GOP nomination, saying that he was the only candidate who was "certified innocent."
That's the good news.
The bad news is that, after spending $11 million on the campaign, he got a total of one delegate.