Rick Perry booked on abuse of power charges - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Rick Perry booked on abuse of power charges

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Gov. Perry tweeted this photo of getting an ice cream cone after being booked. Gov. Perry tweeted this photo of getting an ice cream cone after being booked.
Gov. Rick Perry turned himself in on Tuesday afternoon for booking on abuse of power charges at a courthouse in Austin.

Perry spoke before entering the Travis County Courthouse at 5 p.m. Tuesday, telling an army of reporters he would veto funding for the public integrity unit again.

"I'm going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing that actions that I took were not only lawful and legal - but right," Perry said.

He added, before walking in to be booked: "I will fight this injustice with every fiber of my being and we will prevail."

The Republican is accused of coercion and official oppression for publicly promising to veto $7.5 million for the state public integrity unit run by the Travis County district attorney's office. The charges carry possible prison sentences.

Perry threatened to veto the funding if District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg didn't resign after a drunken driving conviction. Lehmberg refused, and Perry carried out the veto, drawing an ethics complaint. Perry was indicted last week by an Austin grand jury.

Perry has emphatically denied wrongdoing.

Perry's defense team includes attorneys who've taken on oil giant BP and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorney Tony Buzbee says that which of the lawyers will be paid by the state hasn't been sorted out yet.

Perry said after his booking he will continue his work as governor despite the indictment.

“I will not be distracted by these baseless, political charges,” Perry said.

After Perry left the courthouse, he stopped to get an ice cream cone at an Austin-area ice cream stand. He tweeted out a photo out, saying: "And then, ice cream cone at #Sandy's."

Perry's formal arraignment is in Austin on Friday, but aides say he will not attend.

Instead, he has a busy travel schedule to key presidential battleground states -- New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina.

He has a speech Thursday in Washington on immigration.

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