Texas is bursting at the seams with conservative fervor: Rick Perry has been building momentum for his yet-unannounced Presidential campaign, Greg Abbott is set to trounce Democratic darling Wendy Davis in Tuesday’s gubernatorial race, and the Republican ground game so far this cycle has sent groups like Battleground Texas running for the hills.
Obviously, then, it’s time for prosecutors to renew their attacks on Governor Rick Perry, just in time for election day.
Governor Perry has spent much of the late summer battling back what most consider to be a show indictment accusing the Governor of abusing his power during his efforts to oust famously-drunk Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg. Now, prosecutors are crying foul over the Perry legal team’s aggressive tactics aimed at getting the indictment dismissed.
“The defendant’s own words have instilled a concern for all persons who participated in the grand jury investigation,” Michael McCrum, Perry’s special prosecutor, said in a filing made public today, asking a state judge to deny the governor’s request for grand jury transcripts.
Perry, 64, Texas’s longest-serving governor and a presumed candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, faces two criminal counts of abusing his office by threatening to veto funding for a state ethics task force if the county prosecutor in charge of the program didn’t resign following a drunken driving conviction.
So, what’s all the fuss about?
He held a press conference the day after his Aug. 15 indictment saying: “This farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is, and those responsible will be held accountable.”
“This comment struck many listeners as a threat against the members of the grand jury and all of those associated with the grand jury process,” McCrum said. “The state has a good faith basis to protect witnesses who appeared before the grand jury, who would similarly be in the category of those who would be ‘held accountable’ by the governor.”
What is this? 1L year on the JV moot court team?
This is obviously an eleventh hour effort to tamper Republican momentum heading into tomorrow’s election, but it might just be the lamest eleventh hour effort ever to happen. (Well, except for this one.) When this indictment first landed, conservative and liberal analysts alike wrote it off as a political power play. Michael McCrum apparently knows this indictment is doomed, because now he’s trotted out in front of cameras and made the beyond-the-pale claim that the Governor of Texas issued an open threat against members of a citizen grand jury.
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