Clemens trial hears FBI witness describe handling of needles

MySanAntonio.com on May 7, 2012 released the following:

“By Stewart M. Powell and Regina Garcia Cano

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Monday tediously chronicled the shipment, handling and testing of medical waste allegedly containing DNA from former pitcher Roger Clemens in a bid to show he used performance-enhancing drugs before allegedly lying about it to Congress.

Though even U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton urged government lawyers to speed it up, federal prosecutor Steve Durham methodically questioned FBI special agent John Longmire to describe the treatment of needles, cotton balls and vials allegedly used by Brian McNamee to inject the legendary pitcher with the controversial substances.

Prosecutors are banking that subsequent testimony by lab technicians will establish that medical waste retained by McNamee for more than seven years contains both Clemens’ DNA and outlawed performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.

Clemens, 49, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, has not been charged with using performance-enhancing medications that are banned without a doctor’s prescription. But prosecutors are trying to use the medical waste and McNamee’s expected testimony as early as today to show that Clemens used the medications — a first step in the prosecution’s effort to prove that Clemens had lied to Congress in 2008 when he denied using anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.

Longmire’s detailed accounting for the medical waste Monday focused on at least three needles, one syringe, two cotton swabs, two cotton balls, gauze pad and at least two sheets of Kleenex. Some of the waste had been stored by McNamee in an empty Miller Lite beer can for at least seven years; other items of the waste had been loosely stored before McNamee turned all of the medical waste over to federal authorities in January 2008.

Prosecutors contend the medical waste stems from McNamee injecting Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs on multiple occasions between 1998 and 2001 before players were subjected to mandatory random drug testing.

Clemens’ defense team sought to undermine the FBI agent’s testimony with repeated questions about just how carefully agents handled individual items of medical waste.

“During the time you had custody of the evidence you didn’t do anything untoward to that evidence?” defense lawyer Michael Attanasio asked Longmire. The FBI agent said he had not.

Attanasio sought to use Longmire’s testimony to call into question McNamee’s handling of the forensic evidence before he turned it over to federal authorities.

“Did you ever seal medical waste in an open container like a beer can?” Attanasio asked.

Longmire replied: “I have not done that. That is not what they trained us to do.”

Longmire acknowledged that some items were only tested by the FBI lab while others also were tested by two private independent medical labs in California.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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