Rick Perry Indicted on Felony Charges

Texas governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate accused of abusing the power of his office.
2:15 | 08/16/14

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Transcript for Rick Perry Indicted on Felony Charges
Now to the once and potentially future presidential candidate embroiled in what could be the fight of his life this morning. Rick Perry, the powerful governor of Texas has been indicted overnight. Will this case mar his legacy and spoil a potential run for the white house in 2016? ABC's Jeff Zeleny is on the story in Washington this morning. Jeff, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, Dan. Governor Rick Perry has made recent headlines with his tough talk on immigration but it's the hardball politics of Texas now at the center of a felony case against him. Rick Perry's second act was well under way. Another white house bid believed to be just around the corner. But this morning he's charged with two felony counts in Texas. The grand jury today returned a two-count indictment against him. Reporter: Count one abuse of power. Count two, coercing a public official. The charges stem from his decision to veto funding for the state's public integrity unit which investigates public corruption. A district attorney in the unit was arrested for drunking driving and belligerent conduct. He wanted her out but she refused to step down but prosecutors say his conduct ammed to intimidation. I took into account the fact we're talking about a governor but when it gets down to it the law is the law. Reporter: Overnight his attorney called the charges outrageous and appalling saying "This clearly represents political abuse of the court system and there's no legal basis in this decision." It may be a difficult legal case to prove, lawyers tell ABC news, but the indictment presents fresh political trouble. His rehabilitation tour was going strong. It's been nearly three years since this. Commerce and let's see -- I can't -- the third one I can't, sorry. Oops. When we caught up with him in Iowa he was looking ahead with optimism. How tough is it to make a second impression. Second chances is what America has always been about. Reporter: He may be asking for a third chance. He was scheduled to visit new Hampshire next week but now faces arraignment at the county courthouse in Austin just blocks from the governor's mansion. Democrats are calling for him to resign, republicans, though, say it's a partisan witch hunt. Dan and Paula. Extraordinary turn of events. Top stories we head back to

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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