You never know what might stick when you throw everything you’ve got at the wall.
Lawyers for Gov. Rick Perry on Friday filed a request to dismiss the indictment against the governor, saying paperwork needed to properly swear in the prosecutor appointed to shepherd the case was not properly filled out or filed.
“Insofar as the records on file in these cases reflect, [special prosecutor Michael] McCrum, the purported attorney pro tem, is acting illegally because the basic procedural requirements have been overlooked,” attorneys Tony Buzbee, Tom Phillips and David Botsford wrote in their filing with Travis County’s 390th District Court. The lawyers wrote that their allegations were based upon the district clerk’s files in the case.
McCrum, who obtained the indictment against Perry in August, told The Texas Tribune that he was indeed sworn in.
“I don’t know what they’re talking about,” said McCrum, who was sworn in as special prosecutor in August 2013 and again in 2014.
According to the Texas criminal code, an oath by someone like McCrum, who is operating in the place of an assistant district attorney or a district attorney “pro tem,” must be filed with the clerk.
As for the forms and how they are supposed to be filled out, that’s not specified in the code.
However, Perry’s attorneys point to how the clerk’s office does not have paperwork verifying DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s recusal from the case and other paperwork.
An email to the clerk’s office regarding those forms was not immediately answered.
Here’s the latest motion by the defense, which joins the other two in awaiting a response from McCrum. I’ll leave it to the real lawyers to evaluate, but my layman’s interpretation is that this is either an egregious bit of straw-grasping by a squadron of attorneys that would really rather not have to face a jury, or an amateur-hour level oversight by someone whose reputation would seem to make such an oversight unthinkable. Perhaps we’ll get some insight into that on October 13, which is the date for the next hearing – you know, the one Perry doesn’t have to attend – though I suspect we won’t really know till well after that. You lawyers out there, what do you think? Trail Blazers has more.