One of the charges implied in the ridiculous indictment of Texas governor Rick Perry was that in pressuring Travis County District Attorney Rosemary “the Drunk” Lehmberg to resign after her guilty plea to DWI, he was attempting to replace Lehmberg, a Democrat, with a Republican of his own choosing.
That narrative just got shot out of the water – by another Democrat, Austin defense attorney Mindy Monford, who confirmed that Governor Perry called her to see if she would be interested in replacing Lehmberg, back in June 2013.
She said Perry informed her he intended to veto money to the Public Integrity Unit unless Lehmberg stepped down following her high-profile drunken driving arrest. Under the law, Perry, a Republican in his 14th year in office, would have named Lehmberg’s replacement pending an election.
“I think I told him, of course, it would be an amazing opportunity, and I thanked him for considering me,” Montford said. “The fact that I am a Democrat was surprising, and I think I mentioned that to him. I told him I would think about it, and thanked him.
“There was no acceptance because I didn’t feel like it was timely at that point,” she said. “We never spoke again because it became irrelevant when she did not resign.”
So much for “abuse of office” by trying to get a Republican DA in there.
The writ claims the charges of abuse of power and coercion filed against Perry are unconstitutional and that Perry was simply exercising his constitutional veto powers when he vetoed funding for the Public Integrity Unit last summer.
“By seeking to criminalize not merely the veto itself, but the Governor’s explanation for it as well, this prosecution also violates the Governor’s rights under Free Speech Clauses of the United States and Texas Constitution…” the writ says in part.
The writ also says the indictment violates the constitutional separation of powers and the speech or debate clause in the Texas Constitution.
With prominent liberals saying that the case against Perry is weak at best, testimony from a Democrat that he offered her Lehmberg’s position, and just the all-around stupidity of these charges to begin with, Perry is looking more and more – dare I say it? – dangerously presidential.
While Lehmberg, on the other hand, looks like nothing more than a vengeful drunk.
Hopefully, the writ will end the legal circus. But I would never underestimate a bitter partisan who doesn’t want to publicly eat crow. At least, not unless she got a fine wine to wash it down with.
Surprising news out of Texas: Governor Rick Perry has been formally indicted by a grand jury for an alleged abuse of power involving a state official who…