On Tuesday afternoon, Texas Gov. Rick Perry handed himself over to authorities at a criminal justice center in Austin to be booked on two felony counts of abuse of power.
Perry, who was indicted on Aug. 15, has been accused of abusing his office to target the office of district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who was caught drunk driving in 2013 and refused Perry's call to step down. The governor vetoed $7.5 million in state funding that was meant for the Public Integrity Unit, an anti-corruption agency supervised by Lehmberg, a Democrat.
Perry, however, has maintained his innocence and vehemently condemned the grand jury indictment of him as a “farce of a prosecution.” The Los Angeles Times reports that the Republican politician stood by his veto and vowed to contest the accusations against him as he went through the booking proceedings:
Before entering to be fingerprinted and photographed, Perry defiantly insisted that he would fight the charges against him “with every fiber of my being.”
"I’m here today because I believe in the rule of law,” he said in brief remarks punctuated by repeated applause from his supporters. “I’m here today because I did the right thing. I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal, but right.”
Perry’s arraignment has been slated for Friday. It is unclear if the governor will show up, as he is also expected to make a trip to New Hampshire on the same day as he considers a 2016 presidential bid.
One of the charges against him—abuse of official capacity—carries a penalty of five to 99 years in prison. The other charge of coercing a public official has a penalty of two to 10 years.
CBS Evening News shared his mug shot on Twitter:
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