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Rick Perry surrenders to authorities


Update 5:25 p.m.: Gov. Rick Perry emerged from the Travis County criminal justice center about 15 minutes after he arrived.

“As required by law, I reported to the county authorities a few minutes ago,” he said, adding that sheriff’s deputies showed “great professionalism.”

“It is our system of constitutional checks and balances that is being challenged here today,” he said to more than 100 supporters. “It is a chilling restraint on the right of free speech.”

“This indictment is fundamentally a political act that seeks to achieve at the courthouse what could not be achieved at the ballot box,” he said to loud cheers.

“We will prevail. We will prevail. And we’ll prevail because the rule of law will prevail.”

He said he would continue to carry out his duties as governor. “I will not be distracted by these baseless political charges,” he said.

Update 5:15 p.m.: Gov. Rick Perry arrived at the Travis County criminal justice center shortly after 5 p.m. to surrender to authorities and be fingerprinted and his mug shot taken.

Wearing a dark blue suit, white dress shirt and light blue tie, he confidently strode to a podium outside the courthouse to cheering supporters and proclaimed: “I’m here today because I believe in the rule of law. And I’m here today because I did the right thing. I’m going to enter the courthouse with my head held high knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal but right.”

“If I had to do so, I would veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit again,” he said.

“This issue is far bigger than me. It’s about the rule of law,” he said, interrupted by cheers. “This indictment is nothing short of an attack of the constitutional powers of the office of governor.”

“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.”

He then turned and walked into the courthouse in downtown Austin, trailed by television cameras and to chants of, “Perry, Perry!”

Update 3 p.m.: Gov. Rick 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.

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.

Earlier: Texas Gov. Rick Perry could turn himself in late today, although neither law enforcement officials nor his office are confirming any plans.

A Perry spokeswoman said she could neither confirm nor deny Perry will be booked into the Travis County Jail at 4:45 p.m. today, despite numerous reports that he intends to do so.

Meanwhile, reporters are lining the streets of the criminal justice complex, awaiting Perry’s possible arrival.

Perry supporters also are conducting a rally at 5 p.m. today outside the criminal justice center, according to a Facebook page.

Perry was indicted Friday on two felony charges — abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant — stemming from his efforts to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign following her drunken driving arrest.

The judge assigned to the case, Senior District Judge Bert Richardson of San Antonio, signed a personal recognizance bond for Perry, meaning that he will be released after paying a $20 administrative fee after surrendering.

Perry’s initial court date is scheduled for Friday, but Perry doesn’t have to be present. Perry, who is considering a second run for the White House, is scheduled on Friday to be in New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary.


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