Texas Gov. Perry assembles high-powered legal team

PAUL J. WEBER and WILL WEISSERT
August 19, 2014
Gov. Rick Perry makes a statement in Austin, Texas on Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014 concerning the indictment on charges of coercion of a public servant and abuse of his official capacity. Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Laura Skelding)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry is fighting a criminal indictment with a team of high-powered attorneys with formidable records in big cases.

But as the potential 2016 presidential candidate plans trips to Washington and New Hampshire this week to continue courting GOP voters, it's unclear how much of the legal tab will be picked up by taxpayers.

Perry's defense team includes attorneys who've taken on oil giant BP and argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Attorney Tony Buzbee says that which of the lawyers will be paid by the state hasn't been sorted out yet.

Perry faces two felony counts of abuse of power following a disputed veto last summer that cut off state funds for public corruption prosecutors. The charges carry possible prison sentences.

Perry has emphatically denied wrongdoing.