AUSTIN — Attorneys for indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) formally asked a judge Monday to dismiss felony charges alleging that the possible 2016 presidential candidate abused his power with a veto last summer.
In a 60-page motion filed in state district court in Austin, Perry’s high-powered defense team argues that the law being used to prosecute the longest-serving governor in Texas history is unconstitutionally vague.
They go on to claim that “attempts to convert inescapably political disputes into criminal complaints” shouldn’t be allowed to go forward. Since being indicted on two felony counts more than a week ago, Perry has emphatically rejected the charges as a political ploy and pleaded not guilty.
Perry is accused of leveraging his veto power in June 2013 to try to oust a Democratic district attorney who was convicted of drunken driving.
“Texans deserve what their State’s constitution guarantees: a Governor with the power to approve or disapprove of bills,” reads the filing.
When Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign after her drunken-driving arrest, Perry cut off $7.5 million in state funds to the public integrity unit run by her office.
Perry is charged with violating state laws related to bribery and corruption.