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Attorneys Ask to Reschedule Oral Arguments in Perry's Trial

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune
Former Gov. Perry's Attorneys David Botsford (left) and Tony Buzbee (middle), along with Ben Ginsberg (at podium) and Bobby Burchfield (far right) at a press conference last year.

A prepaid vacation to Florence, Italy is the latest procedural hiccup in the trial of former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry was indicted on two felony counts last year of coercion and abuse of power during his time as governor. Perry’s lead attorney, David L. Botsford, filed the motion with the court yesterday to request a postponement of oral arguments in the case, which were previously scheduled for Nov. 4. According to the motion, Botsford and his wife scheduled the trip to Italy in August and, after the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals scheduled arguments yesterday, Perry’s counsel petitioned the court to delay the case to “any other date convenient” to the court.

Botsford’s return flight from the trip arrives on Nov. 4, the day of arguments, but not until after 6 p.m.

Perry was indicted in August of last year on two charges of abuse of power and one count of coercion – both felonies – after trying to get Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign. Perry was initially accused of using his power to influence Lehmberg to resign and threatening to veto funding to the state’s public integrity unit, which is housed in Lehmberg’s office. Lehmberg was arrested and pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in April 2013.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals tossed the charge of coercion in July, while upholding the count of abuse of power. Prior to that, Perry’s counsel had attempted to dismiss the charges on technicalities ahead of his failed bid for the GOP presidential nomination. 

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