A court date has been set for Governor Rick Perry. The arraignment hearing one August 22 will not require Governor Perry to be in court.
Earlier Monday, a Travis County judge decided not to issue an arrest warrant for the Governor, instead a summons will be drafted. The summons put the booking process on hold. Perry's lead attorney Tony Buzbee said he didn't know when the governor will be booked but said that it won't happen in secret.
Over the weekend, the Governor had a lot to say about the indictment and came out swinging during two public appearances. He refused to apologize for trying to force the resignation of Travis County D.A. Rosemary Limber last year.
Monday Perry's new Defense team of high profile lawyers from Houston and Washington D.C. gathered at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel and met with reporters.
"We do not settle political differences in the US and Texas in criminal courts we settle political differences at the ballot box this is nothing but banana republic politics,” said Attorney Tony Buzbee.
The defense attorneys did not provide details about how much their representation will cost taxpayers they did present video clips of the April12, 2013 arrest and booking of Travis County D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg. She tested nearly three times over the legal limit and was belligerent to the arresting officers and with jailers after she was brought into the jail.
Governor Rick Perry threatened to Veto funding to the Travis County Public Integrity Unit if Lehmberg did not resign. She refused and the Veto was made. Last week a Travis County Grand Jury decided the governor abused his power, Indicting him for that, as well as for allegedly trying to coerce a public servant.
Will Hailer, with Executive Director for Texas Democrats, also met with reporters Monday and suggested that the Governor's Veto threat was done to force Lehmberg to stop an investigation that would hurt him and his political friends.
"My assumption based on what's happening here is the Governor trying to put someone else on trial the governor is trying to shift the blame to someone else instead of taking responsibility for his own action,” said Hailer.
Perry's defense team claims they have seen no evidence that the governor did what he did to hurt any investigation the DA had against him or any of his donors. Texas Democrats believe information about that will come out in the trial.
The full details of what was presented to the grand jury will not be revealed until there is a preliminary court hearing. It why two prominent Austin attorneys, Joe James Sawyer and Ray Bass, said it's is possible a bombshell allegation could.
"I think it would be very foolish in this case to rush to judgment, I think it might do us well to remember that a sitting Governor in 1917, James Ferguson, was sentenced to the Penitentiary. Interesting in that case he was threatening to without funds to the University of Texas, unless they fired or created five positions for friends of his. A little more overt absolutely,” said Sawyer.
Bass has doubts about a successful the prosecution of the Governor but he agrees the tone could quickly change during the Discovery Process.
"My guess is, unless there is a smoking gun memo somewhere that says, looking I'm doing this because it's going to help somebody I like, and that's speculation we don't know that, I think it will be, ultimately, I don't think it will go to trial,” said Bass.
A motion to move the trial out of Travis County is expected.