Disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) offered up a few words of solace for Texas Governor Rick Perry, following Perry’s indictment by the same office that DeLay once faced nine years ago, reports Politico.
While speaking with the folks on Fox and Friends Monday, DeLay said that “this is what they do, this is how they intimidate the elected officials in the state legislature and the governor and around the state. If you say anything bad or against this office, they’ll go after you.”
Delay made his comments after Perry was indicted on Friday on two felony charges regarding abuse of power. Nine years ago, the same unit that is now investigating Perry took up issue with DeLay, charging him with money laundering and conspiracy relating to his 2002 fundraising campaign.
“For 9 years I’ve been warning the Republicans that if they don’t reform this unit and put on a statewide basis with the Attorney General that they could be next, and here we go, Rick Perry was next.”
He added that he had been “totally exonerated” last year, but he was still waiting for a ruling from the Court of Criminals Appeals. Currently, the Travis County-based Public Integrity Unit is a local unit with a statewide jurisdiction; officials within the unit are elected on a local level.
While there have been some criticisms aimed at the indictment in recent days, the issue stems from Perry’s open threat — and then use of — a line-item veto to try and force Rosemary Lehmberg out of office. Lehmberg, who spent time in jail following a DUI charge, said that she would not run again but refused to step down.
Perry then attempted to bully her out of office by cutting funding for the office that she ran, which lead to a government watchdog group filing against Perry.
He was indicted on charges of abusing his authority on Friday.
“I think it’s totally unconstitutional,” DeLay said, “A locally elected district attorney has statewide jurisdiction and it needs to be changed. These people for 30 years have been doing this to their enemies.”
DeLay is a fine one to complain about using and abusing investigative agencies. Back in 2003, when he was House Majority Leader, DeLay led the Republican redistricting charge in Texas.
In order to prevent the State House from establishing a quorum and passing the redistricting plan, several Democratic congresspeople took flight to Oklahoma, prompting DeLay to get involved.
For five days, DeLay abandoned his duty as House Majority Leader, his staff convincing the FAA to try and locate the planes on which the Democrat legislators had fled. He also tried to involve the FBI, who dismissed him. A report by the Department of Transportation found that a total of 13 employees had spent more than 8 hours looking for the planes.
He was later admonished by the U.S. House Ethics Board.