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Perry Defense: Veto Was Constitutionally Protected

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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) Governor Rick Perry's defense team says the two felony abuse of power indictments against him are unconstitutional, but not because he's above the law.

In a filing Monday, the governor's attorneys responded to previous arguments by the special prosecutor leading the case, Michael McCrum, who said Perry's fate should be decided by a jury — just like any defendant.

They said McCrum's assertion that Perry viewed himself as above the law was irrelevant "rhetoric."

Instead, the filing says that the case is invalid because Perry's actions were protected by his office's constitutional powers.

A grand jury indicted the Governor after he threatened to veto some state funds for Travis County Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg if she didn't resign following her DUI conviction. He carried out the veto after she refused to quit. Lehmberg led the public corruption unit.

A judge is now mulling the case's constitutionality.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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