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Perry Lawyers Will File Motion to Dismiss Indictments

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT
Governor Rick Perry speaks to the press and supporters outside the Travis County Criminal Justice Complex on August 19, 2014.

A Travis County judge is giving Governor Rick Perry’s criminal defense attorneys until next Friday to file a motion to dismiss the two felony charges against him.

Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Austin on felony charges for abuse of his office. He allegedly threatened to veto funds for Travis County's Public Integrity Unit, an anti-corruption unit, unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, didn’t resign in the wake of drunk driving arrest in 2013.

Perry's attorney, David Botsford, says he’ll file a writ of habeas corpus early next week. He says he’ll "attack the constitutionality" of both counts of the indictment.

"It’s based on the governor’s veto power, separation of powers in the Texas constitution, First Amendment rights and the speech and debate clause," Botsford says.

Special prosecutor Michael McCrum says he thinks he has a strong case.

"I’m confident that the law applies in this case. That the facts will bear out as sufficient to sustain a prosecution in this case," McCrum says.

McCrum expects the case to go to trial sometime next year.

Perry did not appear in court today. He has several events scheduled in New Hampshire – a key early primary state.

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