Texas Poised to Let An Unfairly Prosecuted Person Walk, For Once

But Rick Perry still faces one more indictment charge.

Brian Cahn/ZUMA

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The number of criminal charges against Rick Perry has been cut in half, thanks to a Texas court. On Friday, reports the Houston Chronicle, the 3rd Court of Appeals tossed out the charge that the former Texas governor and GOP hopeful had coerced a public official. In effect, the court said Perry was free to trash-talk Texas officials as much as he pleased, even if it meant encouraging one of those officials—the Travis County District Attorney—to leave office.

Perry’s legal troubles date back to a line-item veto he signed in 2013, erasing $7.5 million that had been designated for the Public Integrity Unit in the Travis County District Attorney’s office—a small group tasked with investigating corruption in the state’s political class. At the time, Perry claimed the Integrity Unit could no longer be trusted to fulfill those duties after the district attorney had remained in office following her arrest for drunk driving. (She had also been caught on camera trying to exploit her office to get out of the arrest.) Perry has been accused of overstepping his authority as governor by explicitly tying that veto to his desire to see the district attorney—a locally elected official—removed from office.

His use of the line-item veto is still under review. While the court sided with Perry on one count, it wasn’t ready to dismiss the entire case. Perry still faces one felony indictment for abusing his powers as governor by zeroing out the budget for the state’s corruption watchdog.

Read more about the history of the charges against Perry here.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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