Texas Gov. Rick Perry‘s legal team Monday vowed to fight the felony charges the governor faces for threatening to veto public funding and calling for the resignation of the head of the state’s public integrity unit.
“Governor Perry will fight this indictment 100 percent, and at the end of the day he will prevail,” said lead attorney Tony Buzbee.
Perry will be arraigned August 22, according to the Travis County Courts, the same day he is scheduled to appear in New Hampshire.
In 2013, Perry publicly threatened to withhold $7.5 million in funding for the state’s public integrity unit, which investigates corruption, unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned following a drunken driving arrest.
For the statement and the veto, a grand jury charged Perry last week with abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official, which together carry a maximum sentence of 109 years.
The team, which includes Bush recount attorney Ben Ginsberg, called the challenge “beyond the pale” and said the governor was legally entitled to use his veto power and speak freely against Lehmberg.
Perry, who has stood by his actions and said he would repeat the veto, spoke confidently about his case in a radio interview with Sean Hannity Monday afternoon.
“What is most important to me is that we stand up to a clear abuse of prosecutorial action, that we push back hard,” Perry said. “I intend to win this thing.”
He followed up on those comments in a separate Monday radio interview with conservative host Erick Erickson, where he compared the indictment issued against him to “old Soviet Union” tactics.
“The rule of law — whether you’re the president of the United States or whether you’re the district attorney in Travis County — the rule of law matters. That’s what America is all about,” Perry said. “These are the types of things that we would expect in the old Soviet Union, not in the United States of America.”
“This is not how we deal with things. This is absolutely not how — and if there’s a Republican DA, and if there’s a Republican that takes these kinds of tactics, we need to stand up and call them out,” he said.
The state of Texas will pay for “part” of Perry’s legal defense, Perry’s team said, adding that the governor’s booking will be public but that the date has not yet been confirmed.
The legal team, which also includes David Botsford, the governor’s general counsel, and attorney Bobby Burchfield, showed video clips of Lehmberg resisting arrest.