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Indictment dropped against Rick Perry

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WASHINGTON — The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday dropped charges against Rick Perry that alleged the former Texas governor abused his power while in office.

Perry, a two-time former GOP presidential candidate, was indicted by a grand jury in August 2014 after he first threatened and then carried out a veto that defunded a statewide public integrity unit in an attempt to force a district attorney’s resignation.

Perry originally faced two indictments, but one was dismissed by a lower court in July.

“Appeals court clears @GovernorPerry of all charges. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. #StandWithRick,” tweeted an official account manned by his staff.

The case examined the state’s separation-of-power provision in the Texas Constitution and a governor’s veto power under the “abuse of official capacity” statute.

Perry fought the indictment, claiming that the counts were “unconstitutional.”

The dismissal supported this claim, stating, “public servants have a First Amendment right to engage in expression, even threats, regarding their official duties.”

Perry served as the governor of Texas for 15 years, where he was the longest-serving governor in the history of the state.