Monday, August 18, 2014

Several moves later on the board: The Perry Indictment



Back in the day, when I was advising lawyers and their clients about litigation and appellate strategy I stressed the obvious: For better or worse, litigation (especially criminal law) is a real-life chess game, with much higher stakes. Accordingly, it’s essential to think several moves down the board, beginning with launching the first pawn.

In bringing the indictment against Governor Rick Perry, the special prosecutor has made a colossal mistake.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument that the case goes to trial.

Count I (as does Count II) charges an “intent” crime: Governor Perry “intentionally or knowingly misused government property by dealing with such property contrary to an agreement under which defendant held such property contrary to the oath of office he took as a public servant . . . which were approved and authorized by the Legislature . . . to fund the continued operation of the Public Integrity Unit [of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office]”

This allegation (and the same in Count II) squarely puts in issue why he vetoed the Public Integrity Unit’s budget. His reason was that in his best judgment as governor drunken DA Rosemary Lehmberg—who lied to the police, disgraced herself while in their custody, pleaded guilty, and did jail time—was unfit for office as the chief legal officer for the County of Travis.

How will Perry show what his opinion was based on, especially the DA's drunkenness, lying and disgraceful behavior?

Easy.

By showing as clearly admissible evidence the two videotapes, which have gone viral on the Internet. (HERE and HERE

The special prosecutor opened the door.

He’s not going to be able to shut it.

The jurors can decide what Perry was trying to do in ridding the public sphere of such a despicable character.