VICE: Rick Perry's Current Defense Attorney Previously Wanted Him Investigated By The FBI

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Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but if someone tries to sic the FBI after you — put them on the payroll.

A new in depth report by VICE investigative reporter Murray Waas reveals that the attorney now defending Governor Rick Perry during a grand jury investigation over possible coercion and bribery of a public official, also once tried to prompt an FBI investigation against him.

He may have worked against the governor in the past, but Perry recognized that David Botsford, at $450 an hour, just happens to be one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Travis County, according to his peers.

See what brought these strange bedfellows together and how much it's costing the taxpayers below the jump…BOR reported last week how much taxpayers were on the hook for so far.

Of all the 254 counties in Texas, Travis is one of the bluest. It is the seat of state government, and therefore has jurisdiction over the Public Integrity Unit. It was Perry's line item veto of the PIU funds that got him in his current trouble in the first place.

If Perry were to hire a well known GOP attorney, famous for trying to sue the Obama Administration, he might be met with a similar response that Perry was when he asked to use Travis Co. DA Rosemary Lehmberg's private entrance to the Grand Jury room so he could avoid the press. That was a knee-slapper.

As DA of Travis County Lehmberg oversees the Public Integrity Unit and she is the public official for which Perry is facing possible indictment for bribery and coercion that extends from his insistence on her resignation as the only alternative to his vetoing of the agencies funding — which he did, because she did not.

If you want the details and timeline that lead to the current investigation, I suggest you read the full VICE report which lays it all out. The moral is that even though there is harsh rhetoric exchanged publically, that privately, the world of politics is an insider's game.

Rewinding to the investigation that never was, the reason Botsford tried to send Perry to the pokey boils down to partisan politics. Perry was running for Lt. Governor against John Sharp who apparently had heard enough from Botsford to pique his curiosity about a potential scandal. The gist of Botsford's claims was similar to a write up by Wayne Slater in the Dallas Morning News.

From the VICE report:

Slater and the Dallas Morning News reported that back in 1996, Perry had purchased stock in a company called Kinetic Concepts, Inc., which was owned by a wealthy contributor to Perry's campaigns named James Leininger.

On the same day stock was purchased on Perry's behalf by a stockbroker, Slater reported, “a California investment group began buying 2.2 million shares in the company, boosting the stock's value.” This suggested that Perry might have been given insider information that the stock's value was going to skyrocket, a suspicion that was further fueled by the fact that Perry had spoken at a luncheon attended by Leininger. Perry and Leininger admitted speaking together the day of the stock purchase, but the two men denied ever discussing the stock or engaging in collusion.

Fast forward a couple of decades and it goes to show that even while investigating a sitting governor with presidential aspirations — politics remains local.

Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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