Indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry turns himself in, smiles in mugshot, then goes out for ice cream in what Dems call a 'sideshow'
AUSTIN, Texas (ABC News) - Mobbed by cameras and supporters chanting “Perry, Perry, Perry,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry sidled up to a podium outside the courthouse before turning himself in late Tuesday following an indictment filed against him last week for two felony charges.
“I’m here today because I believe in the rule of law and I’m here today because I did the right thing. I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high, knowing that the actions that I took were not only lawful and legal but right,” Perry said to cheers outside the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in downtown Austin, Texas. ”And if I had to do so, I would veto funding for the public integrity unit again.”
“I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. And we will prevail. And we’ll prevail because we’re standing for the rule of law,” he added.
The Texas governor then proceeded inside the courthouse where he was set to be fingerprinted and have his mugshot taken. Perry stood in front of a light blue background as he had his mugshot taken. He took off his glasses and appeared to be smiling ever so slightly, with no teeth showing.
Perry spoke to reporters again after his booking, calling the indictment a “political act.”
“This indictment is fundamentally a political act that seeks to achieve in a courthouse what could not be achieved at the ballot box,” he said.
Perry’s booking comes just four days after he was first indicted on two felony counts – abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. The charges originate from Perry threatening to veto $7.5 million in funding for the state’s public integrity unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned following a DWI conviction in 2013.
Perry’s arraignment is currently scheduled for 9 a.m. on Friday, the same day he’s scheduled to appear in New Hampshire.
Following the booking, the Texas governor resumed his normal activities, even stopping for ice cream.
Michael Czin, national press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, said the booking was a “sideshow” for Perry and that he would be held responsible for his actions when he appears in court.
“This may be a sideshow to Rick Perry but no amount of spin can cover up two felony charges. When Rick Perry has his day in court, his case will be decided by the facts, not theatrics,” Czin said. “We look forward to the evidence being presented in court that convinced a jury of the Governor’s peers to indict.”