Echoing the warnings already made by leftist site Salon and many of his fellow Democrats, Lanny Davis penned a editorial cautioning members of his party not to rush to judgement regarding Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s current legal battle.
Perry turned himself in today after a grand jury voted Friday to indict him on two felony counts. He allegedly pressured a Travis County district attorney to resign after she was arrested for driving under the influence; and when she refused, critics say he retaliated by vetoing funding for a program she headed.
Those assertions, Davis insisted, are irrelevant at this point in the prosecution, explaining that those quick to judge Perry are guilty of the same behavior leftists often accuse conservatives of exhibiting.
“We Democrats also pride ourselves on our liberalism and commitment to due process,” he wrote for The Hill; “and the presumption of innocence embedded in the U.S. Constitution.”
Suggesting that Perry deserves anything less, he wrote, reminds him of stories he heard of Sen. Joe McCarthy’s use of “innuendo and accusation” to link Americans to Communism without allowing them to present a defense.
Davis, former special counsel for Bill Clinton, asserted that it amounts to “a classic case of prosecutorial abuse” for charges to be brought against a sitting governor of any party for exercising his veto power. If any wrongdoing took place, he insisted, it should be left to his constituents to make the determination.
“Voters should decide that,” he wrote, “not a prosecutor.”
Nevertheless, Davis lamented, many on his side of the aisle are quick to assume that Perry is guilty based on the fact that he has been indicted. In reality, he wrote, “an indictment is evidence of nothing,” noting that it is only an accusation that has been made.
“Yet I read some Texas Democrats calling for Perry to resign,” he continued “– resign!”
He concluded that Democrats would be “publicly outraged” if a Republican prosecutor sought similar charges against an elected Democrat, insisting that the double standard on display in this case “cannot be tolerated.”
He called on party leaders to urge those who have been so quick to judge Perry absent a fair trial to “withdraw their comments…and apologize.”
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