The Washington Post

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.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
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
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
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.
62% 33%
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

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

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.