Texas Gov. Rick Perry turns himself in for booking
Gov. Rick Perry's mugshot. (Source: Travis County Sheriff's Office)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks before entering the Travis County Jail in Austin, TX, for booking on Tuesday. (Source: KVUE/CNN)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry vows to fight after he was indicted by a grand jury. (Source: CNN)
AUSTIN, TX (KVUE/CNN/RNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry, facing charges of coercion and abuse of power, was fingerprinted and had his mug shot taken at the Travis County Jail on Tuesday evening.
A grand jury indicted Perry on two felony counts for threatening to veto about $7 million in funding for a state ethics unit run by Rosemary Lehmberg, the Democratic district attorney, unless she resigned following a drunken driving conviction.
Perry spoke briefly after arriving around 5 p.m. CT. He called the charges against him "baseless" and also said his decision was lawful and the right thing to do.
Shortly after the charges were filed against him Friday, the Republican governor vowed to fight back.
“I clearly told the folks what I was going to do with the funding,” Perry said earlier. “There wasn't any hiding it. I spoke clearly that I had lost all confidence in her after seeing the video."
Democrat Wendy Davis, who is running to replace Perry as governor, was asked about the indictment during a recent campaign stop.
"These are very serious charges, and I as a lawyer understand and trust the justice system, and I will rely on it to do its job," Davis said.
The head of Perry's legal team said the charges "have no merit" and are an "outrageous assault on the rule of law."
Perry's initial court date is set for Friday, Aug. 22, but he does not have to be present. The governor will be in New Hampshire on Friday, laying the groundwork for a possible presidential bid for 2016.
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