Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry was indicted by a grand jury Friday for using his budget powers to force the removal of a District Attorney arrested last year in a humiliating and very public drunk driving incident.
Saturday morning, however, Perry finds himself with the unlikeliest of defenders. Using his Twitter account, David Axelrod, a senior aide and confidante to President Obama, wrote: “Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy.”
Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 16, 2014
Even Ben White of the left-wing Politico came to Perry’s defense. The left-wing economics writer tweeted Saturday, “It seems quite perverse to indict a governor for exercising his clearly delineated constitutional authority[.]”
It seems quite perverse to indict a governor for exercising his clearly delineated constitutional authority.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) August 16, 2014
Travis County grand jurors charged Perry, an almost certain 2016 presidential contender, with two felonies: abuse of power and coercion of a public servant. The charges are the result of Perry using his veto power to eliminate a $7.5 million appropriation for the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, after the Democrat refused to resign.
During her arrest, Lehmberg, whose blood alcohol content was nearly three times the legal limit, was caught on video screaming at police officers to the point where she had to be restrained.
Lehmberg was eventually fined and sentenced to 45 days in jail. Despite this, the Democrat county of Travis stood by her and have now retaliated with the indictment against Perry, even though the line item veto is a constitutional power granted the governor of Texas.
Perry is expected to turn himself in and this likely means the release of his mug shot to the media.
Axelrod is almost certainly signalling to fellow Democrats and his allies in the media (like Politico) that this indictment is a political loser for the left. It could also blowback on Obama, whose actual constitutional abuses have earned criticism even from some Democrats.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC