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POLITICS: PennAve

Rick Perry fights back, calls indictment against him politically motivated

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Politics,Immigration,Fox News,Texas,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Border Security,Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry fired back against his detractors Sunday, labeling an indictment leveled against him political retribution that is “way outside the norm.”

“This is not how we settle political differences in this country,” he told “Fox News Sunday.” “We settle political differences at the ballot box.”

A special prosecutor in Texas has formally accused Perry of abusing the powers of his office by vetoing $7.5 million in funding for the public integrity unit run by the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

Lehmberg, a Democrat, was convicted of drunken driving but ignored Perry’s calls to resign.

The legal case against Perry is fraught with politics. Lehmberg is based in Austin, a Democratic stronghold in the Republican-dominated red state. The grand jury that approved the indictments against Perry was made up of Austin residents.

Perry said he stands by his decision to defund Lehmberg’s office when she refused to step down.

“If I had to do it again, I would make exactly the same decision,” he said.

He also pointed to the details of Lehmberg’s DUI arrest, saying that tests showed that she had three times the legal limit of alcohol in her system and a video of her booking captured belligerent behavior — that she was kicking a door and “abusing law enforcement officials” and had to be restrained.

Perry also weighed in on the upcoming executive actions President Obama is expected to take on immigration in the coming weeks.

The surge of migrant unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally has dissipated in recent weeks, he said, because the state of Texas and the federal government has responded by rushing resources there.

Calling immigration a “rule-of-law” issue, Perry said the American people don’t trust Obama to pursue comprehensive immigration reform before the border is secure.

“If this president does not do what [is necessary] to secure the border first, he’s going to be a failure in whatever he does,” Perry said.

This story is based in part on wire reports.

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