Texas Gov. Rick Perry has lawyered up as the criminal investigation into whether he illegally withheld money from a district attorney’s office is gaining steam.
According to the American-Statesman:
Gov. Rick Perry has retained a high-profile Austin defense lawyer to represent him in a criminal investigation into whether he illegally withheld money from the Travis County district attorney’s office, the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV confirmed Sunday.
The hiring of David L. Botsford is the latest signal that the inquiry into Perry’s conduct might be gaining momentum after a seven-month investigation.
If this case reminds you of another Republican governor who wants to run for president, but is trapped in his own web of self created scandals, it should. Perry got himself into hot water by threating to withhold $7.5 million in funding unless the Democratic Travis County DA resigned. Perry wanted her to resign after she was convicted of a DWI. The Democrat promised not to run for reelection, but refused to resign.
Perry’s actions put a cloud of uncertainty over hundreds of criminal investigations and were illegal. The governor can’t withhold funding in order to pressure another elected official to resign. The matter of the DA and her DWI is an issue between her and the voters.
Gov. Perry’s actions are very similar to what Chris Christie is being accused of doing in New Jersey. Christie is accused of withholding Sandy aid, unless political favors were granted to his campaign donors. Both Christie and Perry have White House dreams in 2016, and both may be undone by their own criminal abuses of power.