I’ve been following the Rick Perry persecution since his leftist-fueled arrest in August of 2014. Perry, as regular readers will recall, made the mistake of demanding that an alcoholic prosecutor convicted of DWI step down from her position as the leader of the state public integrity unit. Those articles are:
For the latest news, Fox reports:
A Texas judge on Tuesday [01-27-15] refused to dismiss a felony abuse-of-power case against former Gov. Rick Perry on constitutional grounds, ruling that criminal charges against the possible 2016 presidential candidate should stand.
In 44 pages of decisions and orders, District Judge Bert Richardson, who like Perry is a Republican, rejected calls from Perry’s pricy defense team to toss the case because its client was acting within his rights as chief executive of America’s second-most populous state when he publicly threatened, then carried out, a 2013 veto of state funding for public corruption prosecutors.
Richardson wrote that, ‘Texas law clearly precludes a trial court from making a pretrial determination regarding the constitutionality of a state penal or criminal procedural statute as the statue applies to a particular defendant.’
And so, for the time being, the circus goes on:
Perry has spent more than $1.1 million of his campaign funds on his defense — and Richard’s ruling means it will likely continue for several more months at least.
David Botsford, one of Perry’s defense attorneys, said the legal team had filed a notice of appeal. Another attorney, Tony Buzbee, issued a statement saying that the former governor ‘acted lawfully and properly exercised his power under the law’ and that his continued prosecution ‘is an outrage and sets a dangerous precedent in our Democracy.’
Perry was indicted in August on charges of abuse of official power and coercion of a public servant. He is accused of publicly threatening — then making good on — the veto of $7.5 million in state funding for a public corruption division within the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. That came after Lehmberg, a Democrat whose county includes Austin, rebuffed Perry’s calls to resign following a conviction and jail time for drunken driving.
As I’ve previously noted, it is entirely appropriate–and certainly not illegal–for a governor to demand that a public official who has been convicted of crimes that render their continued service untenable, resign. It is also entirely appropriate and legal for a governor to make a veto threat–for virtually any reason–and then to carry out that veto threat. There is, in fact, a highly specific Texas precedent that bears directly on this case, and in Perry’s favor. But the Travis County prosecutors office, a pocket of virulent leftists in a red state, has a long history of politicizing the law.
Texans for Public Justice, a left-leaning watchdog group based in Austin, raised concerns that gave rise to the criminal case. The group’s executive director, Craig McDonald, released a statement Tuesday saying, ‘The prosecutor and a grand jury have said there’s compelling evidence against Perry. That evidence should be presented in court for all to see. The chances of that happening improved today.’
And there we have the essence of the corrupt social justice ethic: “We’re not political hacks, oh no, we’re doing this so the public will have the chance to see everything. Let the public decide.” Such faux-nobility and concern for the public welfare is less than touching. We don’t prosecute innocent people because the process is the punishment and does enormous damage. Ethical prosecutors would never have brought such a case.
“In a 60-page motion filed in August, Perry’s attorneys had said the law being used to prosecute him is unconstitutionally vague and decried ‘attempts to convert inescapably political disputes into criminal complaints.’
Richardson did rule Tuesday that one of the charges against Perry was vague, but he gave the state time to correct it. [skip]
Top national Republicans initially lined up to praise Perry and decry the criminal charges against him — but they’ve been less vocal about their support as the case drags on.
Even Fox engages in deceptive reporting upon occasion. The opinions of Republicans, and a great many prominent Democrats, about this case have not, in the least, changed. Not a single person who initially expressed outrage over this case, not a single credible legal analyst has changed their mind, but with the passage of time, public interest shifts to new outrages, and in the age of Obama, they are plentiful.
Richardson had previously refused to toss the case on a series of technicalities Perry’s lawyers raised, including questioning whether the special prosecutor assigned to the case, San Antonio attorney Michael McCrum, was properly sworn in.
McCrum has said from the start that the case is stronger than it may outwardly appear, and that it should be heard by a jury.
McCrum’s statement tells the story: Don’t be distracted by the facts. This case isn’t really as weak as it obviously appears to be, just let me get it in front of a jury, and we’ll get the Republican bastard somehow.
As with the case of Tom Delay, Rick Perry will eventually be exonerated. But by then, his political career may well be over, which was the point from the beginning of this political witch hunt, aided and abetted by any judge that allows this obvious injustice to proceed.