Lawyer: Gov. Perry indictment ‘designed to be a distraction’

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Rick Perry is fighting the charges against him. The governor appeared on national television Sunday denouncing the indictment, a day after publicly addressing the charges from the state capitol in Austin.

“Texas is known for its hardball politics, but arguably that’s what the governor was doing was engaging in hardball politics,” said Ross Fischer, an ethics attorney.

Fischer was a Perry appointee to the Texas Ethics Commission and the commission’s former chairman. In a situation like this, Fischer says the defendant could plea, but this situation is different.

“[Perry has] been pretty clear that he’s not going to do that; he’s going to fight it tooth and nail,” said Fischer. “So the options are, try to get the indictment thrown out, and if that doesn’t work, get ready for trial.”

Fischer says the indictment is the beginning of this legal process.

“I think it’s designed to be a distraction. There’s a saying that ‘You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride,’ and I think that’s the intent here, is to take the governor for a ride.”

The charges come as Perry is finishing his final term as governor. Perry is often mentioned as a possible 2016 Republican presidential contender.

Special prosecutor in the case, Michael McCrum, responded Friday to a question asking about critics who may say the case is political.

“I’m not going to get into that. That didn’t go into my consideration whatsoever,” said McCrum. “I looked at the law. I looked at the facts and I presented everything possible to the grand jury.”

McCrum said he is planning to speak with the Perry’s attorney Monday.

This article corrects an earlier version that had an editing error in a quote from Ross Fischer. The portion of his quote about a saying now reads, “You can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.”

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