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by
Bryan Preston

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August 21, 2014 - 5:33 pm

Rick Reed is a Democratic attorney in Austin, TX. A criminal defense attorney, he has analyzed the indictment of Gov. Rick Perry.

Reed knocks out one misconception about the indictment right off the bat. According to Reed, it does not allege two felonies. Rather, it alleges that Gov. Perry committed one felony and one misdemeanor.

I won’t quote the analysis, as it suffers if any part is taken out of context. It’s brief at just four pages, and it’s a good read for a legal analysis. You can read the entire analysis here.

The final paragraph deserves a quote, though:

“Whether this indictment will die a quick death from a judicial ruling granting a motion to quash or one prolonged by a jury trial ending in acquittal, only time will tell. One thing, however, is certain: it cannot survive both judicial and juror scrutiny.”

My only quibble with that is, if the indictment gets past a judge, a jury made of Travis County’s finest is literally capable of anything. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison escaped the Travis County DA’s flimsy charges against her in 1993 by getting her trial moved to Fort Worth. The jury took about 30 minutes to acquit her. Rep. Tom Delay’s trial stayed in Austin, and he lost — even though the law and the facts were clearly on his side. A judge later agreed and threw the convictions out on appeal. By then, Delay’s career was destroyed and the Democrats had flogged him hard enough that they took over control of the US House of Representatives.

Some disclosure on this analysis is probably in order. After Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s arrest for drunk driving, Rick Reed filed charges against her for abusing her power. The charges alleged, correctly, that Lehmberg threatened the processing officers when she tried to get Sheriff Greg Hamilton involved. The evidence of abuse of power was crystal clear. Yet a grand jury refused to indict Lehmberg, despite the clear and unambiguous evidence of her abuse of power, which was captured on video tape.

So Reed is not new to any of this. The grand jury’s failure to indict Lehmberg, and another grand jury’s evident eagerness to indict Perry, provide ample evidence that Rick Perry cannot get a fair trial in that county. The jury pool is beyond tainted against him. It is poisoned against him.

More: While we’re on the subject of the indictment and the Public Integrity Unit, the question has come up several times — How did a county DA get such widespread jurisdiction over elected political figures all over the state?

The answer: Former DA Ronnie Earle asserted jurisdiction on his own. Earle is no longer there, having retired in 2008. Lehmberg is his successor. After indicting Perry, the PIU’s days in Travis County may be numbered. There will be a strong push in the next session of the legislature to disband it or move it to the state attorney general’s office. The incoming lieutenant governor, state Sen. Dan Patrick, sponsored a bill to do just that in the last session, but it failed due to some political games in the state House.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
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I can't stand Austin, but it's time Republicans stormed Travis county and Austin and change the dynamic. Not everyone in Austin is a GimmeThat, but Republicans voters are outnumbered about 2 to 1. I'm old, but I'm willing to go and fight :)
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for the explanation about why this rogue DA was not removed from office after threatening sheriff's staff. Were any of those people, either the arresting officers or the jail staff, removed because they acted properly?

Good to know there is one honest Democrat in Travis County.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't that what Tom DeLay said about his indictment by Ronnie Earle back in '06?
First accused by Earle for violations in '02, and indicted in '04(?), convicted in '10, and pronounced Innocent upon appeal in '13, it was a witch-hunt TX-style.
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/359032/delays-vindication-texass-shame-editors
http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/09/19/acquittal-tom-delays-conviction-overturned/
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any Judge who let's this see the light of day should be tarred and feathered and run out of Texas on a rail!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats have been using lawfare for quite some time, and are getting better and bolder at it.

It was a major reason they recaptured Congress in 2006. Ted Stevens (deceased) and Tom DeLay know all about this.

Even the mischief of the likes of Gerald Nifong (Duke LaCrosse rape case) and Elliot Spitzer (too numerous to mention), are subsets and manifestations of the corruption of America's legal system. Oh, and did I forget Brett Kimberlin?

America's legal system has been restructured so that the vilest and meanest among us can have enormous leverage over the rest of society.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Suggestion:

Should Texas ever again secede from the Union, they should seal off Travis county, and then commence "demographic cleansing."
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrat cleansing is more like it!
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Should the PIU not be moved to AG then the unit itself should be moved to the jurisdiction of McLennan County (Waco) and renamed in honor of Ann Richards {RIP} as the Ann Richards Integrity Unit. [/sarc off] The former Gov would approve.

If Perry is acquitted then his legal fees should be billed to Travis County itself.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Absent the Lehmberg dash cam, booking area and holding cell videos, the Democrats' strategy might have worked. But that's what makes this case different from DeLay's -- it's not just a 'he said/she said' on whether or not Rosemary was drunk and threaded to use her political power against the Travis County jailers; it's a 'she said/millions watched on YouTube' as Lehmberg tried to avoid prosecution in the county where she's supposed to be the top law enforcement official.

The optics for her and the Democrats are horrible, made even worse by the fact she refused to resign, because the Dems couldn't bear losing control of their only source of statewide political power, the Public Integrity Unit. Now they're going to lose it when the Legislature reconvenes in January, and the optics of defending keeping it with the Travis County DA will be just as awful for the Dems as long as she remains in office and her YouTube scenes remain accessible on computers.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
Being quashed by a judge or jury would be the end of the indictment in a country and society controlled by the rule of law. Yet, your own conjectures and warnings are an explicit statement that such a condition does not necessarily exist. Having the law hold would be a wonderful change of pace from the last decade. Depending on it holding is either an act of faith in the face of evidence, or a belief in fantasy.

Subotai Bahadur
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
I served on the grand jury 22 years ago when it was controlled by Ronnie Earle. Over four months meetings you go through what I call brain washing.
For most of the service you are set up with plain vanilla cases where the individuals are indicted. Then you are set with THE BIG ONE. Ours concerned a detective who supposedly abused a prisoner. I and another jurist would not go along. And the detective was not indicted. Of course I was never recruited for Grand Jury again.
8 weeks ago
8 weeks ago Link To Comment
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