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'We Will Prevail:' Gov. Perry Turns Himself In At Travis County Jail

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Gov. Rick Perry spoke after he was booked Tuesday afternoon.

Gov. Rick Perry arrived at the Travis County Jail around 5 p.m. Tuesday for his booking. Hundreds of people gathered, many chanting “Perry! Perry! Perry!”

Perry addressed reporters for a few minutes before entering the jail. He was indicted last week on felony charges of abuse of power. He is expected to be arraigned on Friday.

Credit Travis County Sheriff's Office
Gov. Rick Perry's booking photo from Tuesday afternoon.

“I am here today because I believe in the law,” Perry said. “And I’m here today because I did the right thing. I am going to enter this courthouse with my head held high, knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal but right. And if I had to do so I would veto funding for the public integrity unit again.”

He continued: “I think any governor -- Democrat or Republican -- would expect this important unit with jurisdiction over state officials be led by someone who lives up to the high standards of conduct and personal integrity. And this issue is far bigger than me. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about the Constitution that allows not just the governor but every citizen to speak their mind free of political interference or legal intimidation.”

“This indictment is nothing short of an attack on the Constitutional powers of the office of governor. There are important fundamental issues at stake and I will not allow this attack on our system of government to stand. I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being.  And we will prevail. We’ll prevail because we are standing with the rule of law.”

Earlier story:

The Texas Tribune reports: Travis County deputies say they expect Rick Perry to be booked between 4 and 6 p.m. on Tuesday — the same window when supporters are expected to rally at the courthouse in defense of the Texas governor as he fights two felony indictments.

 The deputies said if Perry arrives after 5:30 p.m. — the time they close to the public — members of the media will not be allowed to film the booking, and the mugshot will not be available until Wednesday. 

Two Republican operatives also confirmed a rally would take place at around 5 p.m. outside the courthouse. Sid Miller, the Republican nominee for agriculture commissioner, has said on his Facebook page that he’ll be there.

“It’s our understanding that the governor is going to be booked at 4:45 p.m. this afternoon,” said Todd Smith, a consultant for Miller. “I don’t know if any other statewides will be there, but Sid will be there.”  

The Austin American-Statesman reports that Perry plans to arrive at the Travis County Jail at 5 p.m. Tuesday for "processing," the governor’s office said. "Perry will have his mug shot taken and be fingerprinted, the same as any criminal defendant," the Statesman reported. "He is expected to speak before and after entering the building. 'This is a complete waste of time and money,' Perry’s lead lawyer Tony Buzbee told CNN."

News of the booking comes as Perry's new political action committee released a video responding to his indictmenton felony charges of abuse of power. RickPAC's video features footage of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's unruly behavior following her 2013 drunken driving arrest.

What's next for Perry? KERA's Sam Baker talked with Ross Ramsey with the Texas Tribune -- read and listen to that conversation here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.