DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Gov. Perry’s office rolled out five high-powered attorneys who will represent him in court during a press conference Monday afternoon.
Perry’s legal team told reporters the indictment against the governor is an unconstitutional political ploy.
“The indictment represents a real tearing at the fabric of democracy as it makes an attempt at setting a harmful precedent in the separation of powers doctrine and those are things that need to be addressed and fought as a matter of principal,” said attorney Ben Ginsberg, who served as national counsel to the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in the 2000 and 2004 election cycles.
The attorneys showed video of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s 2013 arrest for a DUI. In a video taken by authorities after her arrest, Lehmberg is shown verbally sparring with officers. At one point she says, “Y’all are going to be in jail, not me.”
“She was belligerent to booking officers during her ordeal,” said Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee, who is heading up the Republican governor’s legal team.
Lehmberg pleaded guilty to drunken driving and served half of a 45-day jail sentence. Her refusal to resign from office following the arrest led Gov. Perry to veto state funding for the Travis County office that prosecutes public corruption cases.
“The veto is rightly so in the hands of the governor. It is a right that as a governor of the state Perry takes very seriously,” said Buzbee.
Lehmberg is responsible for $7.5 million of tax payers money — a fact that Perry took seriously when considering her behavior. Perry’s attorneys said her behavior during the incident was reason enough in fact for Perry to veto money for her public corruption unit.
“He did what was right. Let’s not forget what precipitated this… the genesis of why we are here,” said Buzbee.
The special prosecutor in the case said he is not issuing an arrest warrant for the governor. But he has asked the governor to turn himself in, as is common for people accused of a crime but not considered a flight risk. Perry will have to show up for a summons though; something that may crush his political future.
But Buzbee assured the public that Perry’s legal team will maintain transparency through out the whole process.
“There will be a summons where Perry will have to appear. We don’t know when that will happen but we will let you know,” said Buzbee.
For now, Perry’s powerful legal team is adamant about defending the governor and protecting what they said is an assault on the First Amendment.
“We will continue to fight for the rule of law and to prevent the assault on the Texas constitution that this indictment represents,” said David L. Botsford, Perry’s defense attorney.
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