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Perry Compares Indictment to IRS Scandal

Fox News Sunday
Texas Governor Rick Perry appearing on Fox News Sunday on August 17, 2014.

The indictment of Governor Rick Perry on charges of abuse of power and coercion follows a general pattern in the U.S. of the “rule of law not being followed,” Perry said this morning on Fox News Sunday, adding it’s partly the result of a “government out of control.”

“The issue here really goes back to the rule of law,” Perry told host Shannon Bream. “We’re not securing the border as the Constitution calls us to. When you add the IRS scandal that’s going on and the outside of the rule of law there, and then you look at what’s happened in Austin, Texas with this grand jury, I think there is some extraordinary concern in this country with the rule of law not being followed.”

The IRS scandal refers toan inspector general’s finding last year that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative Tea Party groups by delaying their applications for tax-exempt status and making excessive requests for information. The controversy was recently re-ignited by the revelation that two years’ worth of emails from the IRS official who oversees those groups were deleted in a 2011 computer crash, with no backups available.

“Too many things are being decided in arenas that shouldn’t be decided from the standpoint of a government that’s out of control,” Perry said. “People want to get back to the rule of law.”

The governor also pointed to two prominent liberals who have been critical of the Perry indictment. David Axelrod, a Democratic political consultant who served as a senior advisor to President Obama, said in a Twitter post that the Perry indictment seemed “pretty sketchy.”

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz told the conservative news site Newsmax that he is “outraged” over the Perry indictment.

“I think it’s pretty reflective of what we’re looking at,” Perry said before thanking several possible 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls for publicly supporting him, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Meanwhile, Texas Democrats are firing back on Perry’s claim that the prosecution is a “farce,” saying in an email this morning that the special prosecutor assigned to the case, Mike McCrum, was a “U.S. prosecutor under George W. Bush whose name was submitted for U.S. Attorney by Sen. John Cornyn.”

“The only farce is Governor Perry’s denial. Perry has betrayed his fellow Texans and its time for him to step down,” Texas Democratic Party head Will Hailer said.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.
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