Discussion: 3 Big Problems With The Indictment Of Rick Perry

Discussion for article #226569

Let his trial begin. No one is above the law.

1 Like

I don’t much care whether the governor is convicted or not convicted though I am stocking up on popcorn for the proceedings. Just bound to be …interesting. I just don’t want this Texas dimwit to be elected President of the United States of America, is my only interest in the case. We already had one Texas dimwit in the White House and that didn’t go so well, did it?

What is endlessly annoying to me personally though, is all of these pundits and journalists – without any knowledge of Texas law or any legal background whatsoever, to think they have to pull opinions out of their ass about the legal merits of the case. Jonathan Chait, for example, sez (paraphrase) “Well I read the indictment TWICE and can’t see any legal basis for it.” And he was widely quoted throughout the liberal blogos for this sage opinion. :::EYEROLL::::

I guess the Republican special prosecutor appointed by a Republican administration who was thought to be too beholden to Texas Republican interests to be named for the position, thinks there might be a case. With all due respect to all the California academics whose opinions were featured in this particular piece.

1 Like
Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University School of Law, said that if Perry's actions make him a criminal, "a wide array of official actions and public comments could be criminalized."

Well, you know something, Jonathan? You gotta start somewhere!


IMHO,Mr Turley use to be “fair and balanced” not anymore,You use to see him quite a bit being a go to guy on MSNBC especially when Keith Olberman was on.Not anymore he seems to have taken up a cause against the President,IMHO.

“The problem is that the allegation suggests Perry broke the law by speaking, in which case the law criminalizes speech…”

Blackmail and extortion can also sometimes serve as examples of speech being criminalized, no?


The basic problem here is: these law professors don’t know what’s going on.

But at least they admit it.

The Grand Jury Indictment states NO FACTS upon which to base its claim Perry violated the statutes which are virtually quoted in toto in the indictment. In other words, the special prosecutor is playing this very close to the vest. He took testimony from over 40 people. Can he turn that testimony into a conviction?

He seems to think so. But he also doesn’t want to tell us what that testimony was; not until he has to.

Change the facts, change the outcome; and again, all those law professors know that. “Criminalizing speech” is a farce of a complaint; tell people you want to kill the President, and see how quickly you get a call from the Secret Service. Context matters, what you say matters, what the facts are, matters.

If the special prosecutor can prove his case, all these complaints are moot. If he can’t, it won’t prove these complaints right, either. But right now, you’ve got people mouthing off because they don’t know anything.

Ignorance is not bliss; in this case, it’s frustration.


The biggest reason nothing will come of this: It’s Texas.


Rick Perry is a thug !

1 Like

Perry had control of the purse-strings for the Public Integrity Unit through his veto authority. He attempted to coerce Lehmberg into resigning her position by threatening to cut off the funding. This wasn’t the lawful use of veto power; it was the unlawful use of authority in an attempt to coerce the resignation of a Democrat DA who was investigating some of Perry’s political cronies. Either Lehmberg quit and Perry got to appoint her replacement, one assumedly less interested in investigating his cronies, or she refuses and he uses his veto power to defund the office that’s doing the investigation. Lehmberg’s arrest was a gift to Perry.

The First Amendment argument is a red herring. It’s one thing to say the DA should step down because she was convicted of DWI. It’s another thing to take away the funding of a statutorily-created office after she refuses to do so. The constitutional scholars who are offering their opinions on this issue overlook a multitude of categories of speech that are criminalized.


If Perry didn’t do anything wrong, why does he need at least 4 attorney’s?

I someone agrees that shutting a bridge down in NJ is illegal than how can you come out and say defunding and shutting down the public integrity unit of the states attorneys office is legal and okay? It makes no sense. Perry’s motivation is to install a Republican prosecutor in that office and thats all it is. Politics is just in such a sad state especially in Florida Texas and Mississippi Louisiana , Kansas Oklahoma and any other place where there’s a Republican majority. They steal and cheat right out in the open then get made when someone calls them on it. Chris Christie is almost like he’s insulted because he’s suppose to be able to shut the bridge down for political purposes. Hell in some red states they are cutting down the available voting days to limit turn out!!! Right out in the open. This should stir public outrage.

Sahil, the proper #3 reason is “uh, whoops”.

Get it right.

1 Like

To my mind, Perry does seem to have obstructed justice by attempting to block funding for an agency that was legally investigating his activities.

Why was Perry NOT indicted for obstruction of justice? Because he was wearing his secret Dick Cheney wristwatch ? ;-0)

1 Like

“Tons of big-time liberals are saying Rick Perry’s indictment looks weak. Can you imagine the right ever doing that?”

What is missing from all of the ‘expert’ commentary are the facts.

No one is questioning Perry’s right to veto. In fact, that is the smoke screen his powerhouse team of lawyers are throwing up in everyone’s face to obscure the real facts and sway the future jury pool.

It is what he or his staff at his direction are said to have done after the veto. The goal was not to stop the funding of the Public Integrity Unit. The goal was to get the DA to step aside and allow Perry to appoint the new head of Public Integrity Unit. This would have stopped at least one of more investigations into Perry’s cronyism.

These are not Democrats who have pushed this indictment. They all recused themselves early on. The parties here are respected Republicans.

Read here

and here

I am certainly not an attorney nor did I ever play one on TV. But we can’t let the ‘smoke and mirror’s’ crowd fool the rest of the world what is going on here.

If this was not a real case, then ask yourself this. Why all of the high powered legal muscle, the forceful defiance of Perry and everyone else, and, the attempt to get every attorney pundit with a microphone to argue Perry’s case for him? It is a great strategy - if you are guilty.

Molly - I hope you are enjoying the show. It’s worth a seat in the front row.


Yeah, that was kind of a stupid statement, wasn’t it? Just about every time the police arrest someone for attempting to hire a hitman, they’re basically arresting someone for something they said.


“If there’s a charge of obstruction of justice … that’d be different. But that’s not what’s being alleged,” Hasen said. “I presume he’d have to be indicted again on such charges.”

Another indictment?
No hurry. We can wait.


A different take at HuffPo:

1 Like

This (the HuffPo article) is as concise an accounting of the ‘why’ of the indictments as I’ve read anywhere-- thanks!