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Rick Perry's Attorneys Dismiss Claim Veto Had Link to Cancer Agency Probe

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News
Gov. Rick Perry arrives at the Travis County criminal justice center to be fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken on Aug. 19, 2014.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's legal team is fighting back against allegations from his political opponents, who have suggested the reason Perry vetoed funding for a legal unit that investigates public corruption was because it was investigating him.

When Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg was arrested last year for drunken driving, a public corruption unit in her office was investigating a state-funded cancer agency called the Cancer and Prevention Research Institute of Texas or CPRIT, which was under review because of accusations of favoritism and corruption.

Gov. Perry’s legal team released an affidavit of a criminal investigator whom, they say, contacted them to clarify that the investigation had nothing to do with Perry.  

"The CPRIT issue that the Democrats are trying to pedal is just a red herring and a phony issue," said Ben Ginsberg, one of his attorneys.

The Texas Democratic Party’s executive director, Will Hailer, released a statement saying the lawyers are "playing a game of smoke and mirrors."

Hailer says regardless of the affidavit, Perry had the political motivation to stop the investigation into one of his signature initiatives and board members he appointed.

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