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Gov. Perry To Be Arraigned Friday

Updated: Tuesday, August 19 2014, 06:31 AM CDT
A court date is set for Texas Governor Rick Perry. His arraignment is set for Friday, August 22, at 9 a.m. on charges he abused his power and tried to coerce a public servant. His high-powered legal team is already publicly slamming the charges, while Democrats fight back.

During a press conference Monday, Perry's lawyers denied accusations the governor threatened to cut off more than $7 million in funding to Travis County's Public Integrity Unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned following her drunk driving conviction in 2013.

Perry's lawyers say the governor has the right to free speech and the right to veto. Democrats disagree, accusing Perry of making the move because the PIU was investigating his administration.

"It was (Perry) trying to force out a DA at the time who was looking into the Cancer Research Institute funding," said Will Hailer, Executive Director for the Texas Democratic Party.

"What we have not seen is any proof of that whatsoever," said Tony Buzbee, a Houston-based attorney leading Perry's legal team. "He told the people 'I'm vetoing this and this is why', and that's called good government."

Perry has also denied his funding veto had anything to do with the PIU investigation.

It is unlikely Perry will show up at his arraignment Friday.

Gov. Perry To Be Arraigned Friday

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