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Perry assembles legal team, including Bush recount attorney


Texas Governor Rick Perry (REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has assembled a legal team that vowed Monday to fight felony charges that he abused his office and tried to coerce an elected official to resign.

The team includes Ben Ginsberg, a Washington-based attorney who worked on George W. Bush's 2000 Florida election recount team. Also defending Perry are Texas-based attorneys David Botsford, Tony Buzbee and Tom Phillips, as well as Washington-based lawyer Bobby Burchfield.

"Gov. Perry will fight this indictment one hundred percent," Buzbee said at a press conference in Austin. "And at the end of the day he will prevail."

Buzbee said the state of Texas would pay for "some part" of Perry's defense. He did not say how much.

Perry was indicted by a grand jury Friday on two felony counts. The indictment alleges Perry abused his powers and tried to coerce an elected district attorney to quit.

At issue is his decision to veto $7.5 million in funding for an anti-corruption agency that is part of the Travis County district attorney's office. Perry threatened to veto the money if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (D), who pleaded guilty last year to driving while intoxicated, did not resign.

Lehmberg refused to step aside and Perry carried out his threat.

At their press conference, Perry's legal team showed video of Lehmberg speaking angrily just after she was arrested.

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

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Republicans debate tonight. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
He says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
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Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
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The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
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Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

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Republicans caucus in Nevada.

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