Rick Perry's Lawyer Says He Will 'Ultimately Prevail'

Rick Perry APTexas Gov. Rick Perry.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) isn’t backing down after being indicted by a grand jury.

Not long after news of the indictment broke Friday evening, Perry’s office released a statement maintaining his innocence and declaring he “will ultimately prevail.”

“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” said Mary Anne Wiley, Perry’s general counsel. “We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.”

Perry, who is looking at making another run for president in 2016, was indicted on felony counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, according to the Associated Press, for carrying out a threat to veto funds set to go to state prosecutors investigating public corruption.

“The indictment is the first of its kind since 1917, when James ‘Pa’ Ferguson was indicted on charges stemming from his veto of state funding to the University of Texas in effort to unseat faculty and staff members he objected to. Ferguson was eventually impeached, then resigned before being convicted,” the AP reported.

Update (9:31 p.m.): In an even more aggressively-worded statement, another Perry counsel, David Botsford, weighed in late Friday evening.

“I am outraged and appalled that the Grand Jury has taken this action, given the governor’s constitutional right and duty to veto funding as he deems appropriate. This clearly represents political abuse of the court system and there is no legal basis in this decision. The facts of this case conclude that the governor’s veto was lawful, appropriate and well within the authority of the office of the governor. Today’s action, which violates the separation of powers outlined in the Texas Constitution, is nothing more than an effort to weaken the constitutional authority granted to the office of Texas governor, and sets a dangerous precedent by allowing a grand jury to punish the exercise of a lawful and constitutional authority afforded to the Texas governor,” Botsford said.

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