Gov. Rick Perry assembles high-profile legal team

Perry's defense talks about indictment


SAN ANTONIO – Three days hours after Texas Gov. Rick Perry was indicted on felony charges of coercion and official oppression, his legal team has responded.

The indictment claims Perry publicly threatened to veto $7.5 million in state funds to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's Public Integrity Unit unless she stepped down following a drunken driving charge.

His nationally recognized team of attorneys say they are prepared to defend Perry.

"What is clear over the last 72 hours since this outrageous assault on the rule of law began is that there has been a near universal condemnation of this indictment by political commentators, political scholars, and major newspapers all across the country," said attorney Tony Buzbee.

Perry's team began making their case to the public by showing the video of Lehmberg the night she was detained. Buzbee said she was restrained, kicking and screaming.

He said she can be seen in the last shot of the video gesturing with her hand as if she was pulling a trigger.

Perry's team explained this is why he lost confidence in the district attorney.

The other three attorneys making up the Perry defense are Ben Ginsburg, David Botsford and Bobby Burchfield.

"It is inappropriate and dangerous," Burchfield said. "Dangerous to the concept of self-government for a decision of this nature in the full light of day, with no suggestion of personal gain, to be the subject of a criminal prosecution."

Special prosecutor Michael McCrum said this case is not politically motivated, making it clear the case is about the facts and the law.

Attorney: Perry's booking will be public

Meanwhile, Buzbeen said his team doesn't know when he will be booked on abuse of power charges -- but that it won't happen in secret.

Buzbee said the governor is "going to let everyone know" when he will be booked, fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken. Perry's attorneys and a special prosecutor are still working that out.

Buzbee also dismissed the case as "nothing more than banana republic politics."