The Texas Democratic Party and its operatives have tried to build a defense of their indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
According to that narrative, Perry tried to get Lehmberg removed because the Travis County Public Integrity Unit was circling around the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. There were allegations of crony corruption in CPRIT. According to the Democrat narrative, the suspicion of crony corruption had the PIU looking into Perry and several close associates. So, according to this narrative, Perry wanted to push Lehmberg out as Travis County district attorney, so he could appoint her successor and get that investigation killed off.
The Austin American-Statesman, no friend of Gov. Perry, already shattered that narrative earlier this week. The timeline of the CPRIT investigation does not match the timeline of Perry’s effort to rid Travis County of its drunk-driving, abusive DA.
Now one of the Travis County DA’s investigators has given a sworn statement in the case that ought to kill the Democrats’ narrative with fire.
Chris Walling was a criminal investigator with the Public Integrity Unit. Not only that, he was the primary investigator who was looking into the CPRIT case.
Walling submitted an affidavit on Wednesday, and in that affidavit he says:
“At no time in CPRIT investigation was Governor Rick Perry or anyone from the Governor’s office a target. At no time did I ever obtain evidence that suggested any wrongdoing on behalf of Governor Rick Perry or the Governor’s office. At no time did the evidence that I obtained as investigator ever suggest any wrongdoing on the part of any appointed Board Member of CPRIT. Any suggestion that Governor Rick Perry or anyone associated with him was being investigated is untrue; and, based on my investigation, there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever that suggests wrongdoing on the part of any individual other than the individual ultimately indicted by a grand jury.”
It’s obvious, but probably worth clarifying anyway, that Walling is not referring to the indictment of Perry there. He is referring to the lone indictment of a staffer in the CPRIT case.
Walling’s statement not only destroys the Democrats’ partisan narrative of the case, it destroys the indictment of Perry itself.
Walling’s affidavit addresses what he told the special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, about CPRIT.
“Special prosecutor Michael McCrum contacted me to interview me about the CPRIT investigation. During the interview, Mr. McCrum questioned me about Governor Rick Perry’s potential involvement in the CPRIT situation. I made it clear to him that there was absolutely no evidence even suggesting wrongdoing on the part of Governor Perry and in no uncertain terms that, after a lengthy investigation, no evidence was found to suggest wrong doing on the part of the Governor, the Governor’s office, nor any Board Member of CPRIT.”
Walling also says that he did not have any active investigation during or after the veto of PIU that targeted Gov. Perry or anyone from his office.
Walling’s affidavit raises a huge question: Did McCrum take his testimony to the grand jury? Did the grand jury ever hear this obviously exculpatory testimony?