A judge on Tuesday rejected former Gov. Rick Perry’s attempt to throw out a two-count indictment against him, saying it's too early in the case to challenge the constitutionality of the charges.
Bert Richardson, who has since been elected to the state’s highest criminal appeals court, issued the 21-page ruling Tuesday afternoon.
Perry's attorneys immediately filed notice that they will appeal the ruling to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals; the appeals process could take months. Richardson, who is permitted to continue hearing the case, will recuse himself when the case is appealed.
Perry was indicted on Aug. 15 over allegations he abused the power of his office by threatening to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who had pleaded guilty to drunken driving, resigned. The public integrity unit, which is charged with investigating and prosecuting state corruption, is housed within the Travis County District Attorney's office.
Lehmberg refused to step down. Perry later made good on his threat, vetoing the approximately $3.7 million per year budgeted to fund the unit.