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Texas Governor Vows to Prevail Over Abuse of Power Charges

  • VOA News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, Aug. 19, 2014, in Austin, Texas.

One-time U.S. Republican presidential candidate and current Texas Governor Rick Perry was fingerprinted and photographed at a courthouse in the state capital, Austin, Tuesday, vowing to prevail over charges of abuse of power.

A grand jury indicted Perry last week on allegations that he threatened to cut funding to an investigative office to coerce a Democratic district attorney to resign.

A cheerful Perry insisted Tuesday he did nothing illegal. He said a governor has the constitutional right to speak his mind free of political interference.

Perry is the longest-governor in Texas history and a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016. He cut off funding last year for the state's public integrity unit, which investigates wrongdoing by pubic officials.

The unit was run by a Democratic country district attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, who pleaded guilty to drunk driving but refused to step down. Texas Democrats accused Perry of using the veto threat to force Lehmberg to resign so he could appoint a Republican political ally to take her place.