Former Gore campaign aide joins Bush recount lawyer on Rick Perry’s legal team

August 25, 2014

FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2014 file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's star-studded legal team just got a new member: "Master of Disaster" Mark Fabiani.

Fabiani served as a deputy campaign manager for then-Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign. His next job will be to defend Perry, a Republican, against felony charges alleging he abused his office and tried to coerce an elected official to resign. 

That means Fabiani will be teaming up with a lawyer who represented George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida recount battle against Gore: Ben Ginsberg.

"As we move forward to protect the Texas Constitution and the First Amendment rights of any governor, I am confident this prosecution will be revealed to be contrary to the law and wholly meritless," Fabiani said in a statement Monday.

The move was first reported by Politico.

Fabiani co-authored a 2012 book titled "Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control." He also served as special counsel to Bill Clinton.

Perry pleaded not guilty last week to two felony counts. He was indicted by a grand jury for threatening to veto funding to a state anti-corruption agency after Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign following a 2013 drunk driving arrest.

After she made clear she was stepping down, Perry made good on his threat. The anti-corruption agency, named the Public Integrity Unit, is part of the Travis County district attorney's office.

Perry has pointed to Democrats who have questioned whether his indictment was warranted to argue that it is shaky. The addition of Fabiani could be designed, in part, to reemphasize that it isn't just Republicans backing him.

Perry's legal team also includes Texas-based attorneys David Botsford, Tony Buzbee and Tom Phillips, as well as Washington-based lawyer Bobby Burchfield.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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