August 20, 2014

USA TODAY EDITORIALIZES: Rick Perry’s Flimsy Indictment.

Politics as usual should not be a violation of criminal law. This ought to be obvious to anyone in a democratic society. But it does not seem to be well understood in Texas, where a special prosecutor in Austin persuaded a grand jury last week to indict Gov. Rick Perry, who was booked and fingerprinted on Tuesday.

Perry, a once and potential future candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has been charged with misusing his office and coercing a public official. Sounds serious, until you look at the flimsy, two-page indictment. . . .

Beyond Perry, two other potential Republican presidential aspirants also face investigations. One, involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, is a straightforward, legitimate focus of inquiry. But another, involving fundraising efforts on behalf of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, seems just as mired in politics as the Perry case.

It’s political lawfare, pure and simple.