Rick Perry's Legal Team Gets Boost From Democratic Lawyer

Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 06:57 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Mark Fabiani, who has worked for president Bill Clinton and on vice president Al Gore's campaign, has joined Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry's defense team, lead attorney Tony Buzbee announced, Politico reported.

"I'm proud to join Gov. Perry's outstanding team which has been assembled to fight back against this attack on the rule of law," Fabiani said, according to the political news website.

According to The Washington Post, Fabiani served as a special counsel to Clinton and as deputy campaign manager for Gore in the 2000 campaign. The Perry team already includes Ben Ginsberg, who represented president George W. Bush in the 2000 Florida recount drive against Gore. Fabiani is also co-author of "Masters of Disaster: The Ten Commandments of Damage Control."

Perry was indicted at the urging of special prosecutor Michael McCrum by a Texas grand jury on two counts of abuse of power and coercion in a case that involved the governor's running dispute with Democrat Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis County district attorney. Her office oversees the state's Public Integrity Unit and following her 2013 drunk driving arrest Perry insisted she step down and vetoed money for her unit unless she does.

"As we move forward to protect the Texas Constitution and the First Amendment rights of any governor, I am confident this prosecution will be revealed to be contrary to the law and wholly meritless," Fabiani said in a statement, the Post reported.

Both Democrats and Republicans have challenged whether Perry's actions can be considered a crime, with The New York Times editorializing that his indictment resulted from "overzealous prosecution."

Besides Houston lawyer Buzbee, Ginsberg, and now Fabiani, Perry's high-powered legal team also includes Austin criminal defense lawyer David Botsford; Tom Phillips, former chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court; and Washington lawyer Bobby Burchfield, the Post reported.

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