Roger Clemens trial: Prosecutors should not be surprised by Pettitte admission, attorneys say

May 3, 2012

The Washington Post on May 3, 2012 released the following:

“By Ann E. Marimow and Del Quentin Wilber

The government lawyers prosecuting former baseball star Roger Clemens should not have been surprised by Andy Pettitte’s admission Wednesday that he may have misheard his former teammate and friend tell him that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs, according to former federal prosecutors.

In preparation for taking the witness stand, former prosecutors said the government team likely would have asked Pettitte how sure he was of his recollection of the conversation with Clemens during a workout at the pitcher’s home gym in 1999 or 2000.

Until Wednesday, Pettitte generally had not wavered from his assertion that Clemens confided in him about his use of HGH. He repeated that testimony Tuesday, which was critical to the government’s case that Clemens lied to Congress in 2008 when he denied using the banned substances.

But Pettitte had earlier expressed some doubt about his memory of the conversation to congressional investigators.

“Roger told me that he didn’t take it, and I misunderstood him. I took it for that, that I misunderstood him” in 1999 or 2000, he told them in 2008.

Defense lawyer Michael Attanasio apparently saw an opening, and pressed Pettitte on it Wednesday.

That prosecutors from the District’s U.S. Attorney’s Office did not specifically revisit Pettitte’s conflicting account under cross-examination Wednesday when they had a chance suggests that they didn’t want to dig a deeper hole, some attorneys say.

“They didn’t want to go there for fear of getting worse answers,” said Andrew White, a former federal prosecutor, “For fear that Pettitte isn’t going to go out of his way to harm his friend.”

Former federal prosecutors agreed that Pettitte’s pullback was a big boost to the defense team, but varied in their assessments of how much of a problem that testimony would be for the government.

Prosecutors are laying the groundwork for the testimony of former strength coach Brian McNamee, who is expected to testify that he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH on several occasions.

Michael Volkov, another former federal prosecutor, cautioned that Pettitte’s uncertainty is “not devastating.”

The case, he said, still hinges on what the jury thinks of McNamee and whether his story is backed up by the evidence, including needles that prosecutors have said contains Clemens’s DNA and traces of performance-enhancing drugs.

On the other hand, White said that Pettitte’s admission adds credibility to Clemens’s reaction to a separate conversation in 2005. At a time when performance-enhancing drugs were in the news, Pettitte asked Clemens how he would handle media questions about his use of steroids. Pettitte said Clemens responded, “What are you talking about?”

“This sets up a major league positive scenario for the defense,” White said, “and a possible basis for the misunderstanding that Pettitte now acknowledges he might have had.””

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Clemens’s Lawyer Tries New Approach

April 25, 2012

The New York Times on April 24, 2012 released the following:

“By JULIET MACUR

WASHINGTON — Standing in front of the jury box, Rusty Hardin, Roger Clemens’s lawyer, spoke in a near whisper as he ended his opening argument Tuesday, begging jurors to realize that the government’s perjury case against Clemens is “tragically wrong.”

Hardin said: “God help me if we have reached a stage in this country where we make a federal case of denying you committed a crime. What guy, the evidence will scream out, would go to Congress and lie under oath, knowing what the consequences would be if he hadn’t done it? What man, except a crazy man, does that?”

Compared with his opening statement at last year’s mistrial, which was caused when prosecutors showed inadmissible evidence, Hardin spoke softer and in a markedly kinder tone. But the gist of his argument was similar.

Hardin called the case “a tale of two men” that pitted Clemens against Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer, who says that he gave Clemens steroids and human growth hormone.

Unlike at the last trial, Hardin — known for a folksy style that helps him connect with jurors — did not call McNamee a liar or a dope dealer. This time, he let the government play the tough guy.

Clemens, the government argued on Monday, is so deceitful and dishonest that he created a “tangled web of lies” and told “other lies to cover up his lies” regarding his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

It was unclear whether Hardin’s new tone was his idea, or whether the prosecution had forced his hand in trying a different approach. The government had objected to many parts of the opening statement Hardin gave last year. Prosecutors also had complained that Hardin disclosed personal information to potential jurors during the questioning process, including that he used to live in Washington, where he said he and his wife saw Roberta Flack sing.

“He’s very good at what he does,” Courtney Saleski, an assistant United States attorney, said to the judge before the trial. “But we think it’s inappropriate.”

On Tuesday, Hardin took on a new set of jurors in his thick southern drawl. He elicited some smiles from jurors when he clumsily searched through paperwork, saying, “I’m not acting like Columbo. I am Columbo,” referring to the long-running detective show. He raised his voice only when he showed a map of the United States that listed the people the government had spoken to and the places it had gone as it tried to corroborate McNamee’s claims.

“I’m not talking about the waste of government resources; that’s not my issue,” he said before describing how the government interviewed 187 witnesses, wrote 268 interview reports and involved 79 interview locations and 103 federal law enforcement officers.

Hardin suggested it would have been easy to manipulate some of the government’s evidence to favor the prosecution. He called syringes and cotton balls that the government said had traces of steroids and Clemens’s DNA “the most mixed-up hodgepodge of garbage you could ever imagine.” He continued, “It is ludicrous to ever try to suggest that this is evidence of anything in a criminal case.”

He saved his harshest words for McNamee, portraying him as someone out to gain celebrity by bringing down Clemens.

But when it came to Andy Pettitte, a star government witness, Hardin turned friendly. He said the defense welcomed his testimony because it “would be one of the most convincing of all as to why Roger Clemens did not use H.G.H.”

Pettitte is expected to testify that Clemens told him in 1999 that he used human growth hormone, and that Pettitte had used the drug himself.

Only the first witness — Phil Barnett, a former staff director to the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — took the stand before the court recessed until Monday.

Barnett, who is testifying to the legitimacy of Congress’s hearings regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, was on the stand last year when the judge declared the mistrial.

Hardin did not have a chance to cross-examine him then. Next week, he will finally be able to do so.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal Prosecutors: Clemens wove a ‘tangled web of lies’

April 24, 2012

Houston Chronicle on April 23, 2012 released the following:

“By Stewart M. Powell and Regina Garcia Cano

WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors on Monday portrayed Roger Clemens as a man who tainted his legendary baseball success story with lies, deceit and betrayal, ending with a grand finale of dishonesty when he lied to the nation and Congress.

In a 65-minute opening statement to the jury of 10 women and six men, prosecutor Steve Durham said the retired multimillionaire pitcher wove a “tangled web of lies” to cover up his use of performance-enhancing drugs during a distinguished career.

And as much as Clemens angled to stay one step ahead of legal scrutiny over a 10-year-period, prosecutors contend, he was nevertheless indicted on six felony counts of lying to Congress in 2008.

Clemens had a choice between coming to Washington, D.C., and telling the truth to Congress “and admitting some mistakes along the way – or to lie,” Durham declared. “He made that choice to become entrapped in a web of his own making. He couldn’t get out of it, and that’s why we’re here.”

Clemens’ first trial on the charges ended in a mistrial last year, after prosecutors introduced banned evidence.

His lead defense lawyer, Rusty Hardin, elected to deliver his opening statement Tuesday. Defense lawyers have insisted the high-profile congressional hearing in 2008 was little more than a “show trial” designed to pit Clemens’ account against contradictory testimony by former strength coach Brian McNamee to set the stage for perjury charges against Clemens.

Maintains innocence

Clemens insists he never used steroids, never lied to Congress and did not impede any aspect of the congressional inquiry into Major League Baseball’s so-called “steroid era.”

His lawyers contend Congress had no legitimate legislative purpose for convening the high-profile inquiry launched by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., then chairman of the panel.

The prosecutor’s opening argument Monday afternoon followed rival lawyers’ jockeying over the scope of testimony by a variety of prospective witnesses, including pitcher Andy Pettitte and congressional staffer Philip Barnett.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton handed a victory to the defense team by excluding potential “guilt by association” testimony by Pettitte that he obtained human growth hormone from McNamee, the same strength coach who claims to have injected Clemens.

On the other hand, Walton ruled congressional staffer Phil Barnett, former chief of staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, could testify about Congress’ purpose for convening the wide-ranging inquiry that ensnared Clemens.

Durham told jurors that Barnett would help establish that Congress was looking into the “role model effect” of professional athletes using anabolic steroids and not targeting Clemens.

Of the 16 jurors drawn from the District of Columbia during a four-day screening process, 10 are African-American and six are white. When questioned during jury screening, many said they hadn’t heard of Clemens.

Jury’s Houston ties

Two members of the panel have ties to Houston. A former Houston elementary schoolteacher who graduated from Texas Southern University with the late Rep. Mickey Leland, D-Houston, subsequently moved to Washington for a career in management. Another juror was a 1986 Rice University graduate who went on to attend Yale School of Management before serving as a senior U.S. Treasury official on risk assessment for institutions, exchanges and insurers.

Clemens’ wife, Debbie, sat in on the morning session but was ordered from the courtroom by Walton during opening arguments because she is expected to be a witness in the trial.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


News Guide: Key details in Clemens perjury trial

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“WASHINGTON (AP) — Roger Clemens’ second perjury trial began Monday, following a mistrial in the first case when prosecutors showed inadmissible evidence to the jury.

The famed former pitcher is accused of ying to Congress in 2008 when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

The new trial, which begins with jury selection, is expected to last four to six weeks.

Some key data and figures in the case:

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CHARGES:

Three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress.

POSSIBLE PENALTIES:

If convicted on all counts, Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. But with no prior criminal record, under U.S. sentencing guidelines, he would probably face no more than 15 to 21 months in prison.

WITNESSES

Former baseball stars Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco were on the list of 104 potential witnesses or people who might be mentioned at trial that was read to the jury pool. In addition to Bonds and Canseco, prosecutors said they might call baseball commissioner Bud Selig and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. Clemens’ attorneys said they might call his former teammates Paul O’Neill, Jorge Posada and Mike Stanton and baseball writer Peter Gammons.

JURY SELECTION:

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton asked 90 potential jurors 86 yes-or-no screening questions designed to uncover personal history or attitudes, medical problems or scheduling conflicts that might reveal potential prejudice or an inability to serve. Among them: “Do you have any opinions about Major League Baseball – good, bad or whatever?” Jury pool members who had “yes” answers marked them on a sheet of paper. The lawyers and judge then began questioning them individually about those answers. In addition to people disqualified by the judge for cause, the defense will be allowed reject 10 potential jurors and the prosecutors can veto six – without explanation – until 12 are seated. Then each side will get two such unexplained strikes until four alternates are chosen, in case any jurors have to drop out during the trial.

THUMBNAILS:

– Roger Clemens: The famed pitcher, who won a record seven Cy Young Awards, said he never used steroids or human growth hormone during his baseball career. But prosecutors maintain he lied and broke the law when he made that denial under oath to a congressional committee in 2008.

– Brian McNamee: The strength trainer who worked out with Clemens for a decade, he helped mold The Rocket into one of the most feared power pitchers in the major leagues, even into his 40s. McNamee maintains he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone – and saved the needles, which will be evidence at trial. He’ll be the prosecution’s most important witness.

– Andy Pettitte: The pitcher and former teammate of Clemens – with both the New York Yankees and Houston Astros – is the only person besides McNamee who says Clemens acknowledged using drugs. Clemens has said his former friend is “a very honest fellow” but insists he “misremembers” their conversation, said to have taken place in 1999 or 2000.

– Kirk Radomski: The former batboy with the New York Mets was the primary source behind the 2007 Mitchell Report examining the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Radomski has admitted providing drugs to dozens of players, and McNamee says he got the drugs for Clemens from Radomski.

– U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton: The judge is a former athlete himself – he went to college on a football scholarship. In declaring a mistrial last year, Walton blamed prosecutors for a mistake that a “first-year law student” wouldn’t make. No stranger to high-profile cases, he presided over the trial of former Vice President Dick Cheney’s onetime chief of staff, Scooter Libby.

– Rusty Hardin: Clemens’ lead attorney has a reputation for winning jurors over with plenty of Southern charm and colorful quips aimed to bring down opponents.

– Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham: One of two prosecutors who worked on the original case last summer, which ended in a mistrial because prosecutors showed the jury inadmissible evidence, Durham is chief of the public corruption unit at the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco Among Potential Government Witnesses in Roger Clemens Federal Criminal Trial

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“Bonds among potential witnesses in Clemens trial

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

WASHINGTON (AP) — Prosecutors said they might call former baseball players Barry Bonds and Jose Canseco, current baseball commissioner Bud Selig and New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman as witnesses in the Roger Clemens perjury case. The defense said it might call former Clemens teammates Paul O’Neill, Jorge Posada and Mike Stanton, and baseball writer Peter Gammons.

Those were among the more than 100 potential witnesses read Monday on the first day of jury selection in Clemens’ new trial, with a larger prosecution team taking on the famed pitcher following last year’s embarrassing mistrial. The government will again try to prove Clemens lied to Congress when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

The legendary former pitcher, who famously reveled in staring down hitters, will face a prosecution lineup of five lawyers – more than double the two from the first trial.

Last July, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial on only the second day of testimony, after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. Walton also will preside over the new trial, which is expected to last four weeks to six weeks.

The Clemens team won’t be outgunned. It has six lawyers working on the case, led by Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin, whose Rusty Hardin & Associates has represented sports stars such as quarterback Warren Moon, baseball star Wade Boggs and NBA great Scottie Pippen, each a Hall of Famer.

Both Hardin and the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment for this story, citing Walton’s gag order.

Michael McCann, a law professor and director of the sports law institute at Vermont Law School, said it was unusual to have so many prosecutors “for a perjury case that isn’t terribly complicated.”

Prosecutors know that some potential jurors might object to spending too much money on the case because Walton advised them last year that some of the original jurors thought it was would be a waste of money to retry Clemens.

McCann said the department has extra motivation to convict Clemens, given the amount of money spent on the case and the underwhelming outcome of its more-than-seven-year investigation of Barry Bonds over steroids.

Bonds, baseball’s career home run leader, was found guilty last year on just one count, obstruction of justice, for giving an evasive answer to a grand jury when asked about drug use. He received a sentence of 30 days confinement at his estate in Beverly Hills. Prosecutors dropped three other counts charging Bonds with making false statements after the jury deadlocked on those charges. Bonds has appealed his conviction.

“For the government to lose this case after obtaining a very mild victory against Bonds,” McCann said, “would invite a lot of questions about the appropriateness of these prosecutions.”

In addition, the Justice Department recently closed, without bringing any charges, an expensive two-year, multi-continent investigation of possible drug use by Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who beat cancer and won the Tour de France seven straight times.

The essence of the Clemens case remains the same: The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is charged with perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress for telling a House committee under oath, in both a public hearing and in a deposition with committee staff, that he hadn’t used steroids or human growth hormone during his 24-season career.

The key witness for the government will be Clemens’ former strength trainer, Brian McNamee, who says he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone, and even kept the used needles that will be entered as scientific evidence at trial.

Clemens’ lawyers will seek to discredit McNamee, who provided drugs to several professional baseball players and has acknowledged he hasn’t always told the truth about Clemens’ drug use and other matters. McNamee initially denied giving Clemens drugs, before admitting to federal agents he injected the pitcher. The defense team has said that the trainer fabricated the evidence.

Harder to discredit will be another prosecution witness, Andy Pettitte, a former Clemens teammate who recently came out of retirement to mount a comeback attempt with the New York Yankees. Pettitte says that Clemens, in a private conversation in 1999 or 2000, acknowledged using HGH. Clemens has said Pettitte “misremembers” their conversation.

If convicted on all six charges, Clemens faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. Maximum penalties are unlikely because Clemens doesn’t have a criminal record, but Walton made plain at the first trial that Clemens was at risk of going to jail.

Under U.S. sentencing guidelines, Clemens probably would face up to 15 months to 21 months in prison.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Feds bulk up to retry Clemens over drug testimony

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department, embarrassed by blundering into a mistrial of Roger Clemens last year, has added more prosecutors as it tries again to convict the famed pitcher of lying to Congress when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Jury selection in the new trial begins Monday.

The legendary former pitcher, who famously reveled in staring down hitters, will face a prosecution lineup of five lawyers – more than double the two from the first trial.

Last July, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial on only the second day of testimony, after prosecutors showed jurors evidence that had been ruled inadmissible. Walton also will preside over the new trial, which is expected to last four weeks to six weeks.

The Clemens team won’t be outgunned. It has six lawyers working on the case, led by Houston lawyer Rusty Hardin, whose Rusty Hardin & Associates has represented sports stars such as quarterback Warren Moon, baseball star Wade Boggs and NBA great Scottie Pippen, each a Hall of Famer.

Both Hardin and the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, which is prosecuting the case, declined to comment for this story, citing Walton’s gag order.

Michael McCann, a law professor and director of the sports law institute at Vermont Law School, said it was unusual to have so many prosecutors “for a perjury case that isn’t terribly complicated.”

Prosecutors know that some potential jurors might object to spending too much money on the case because Walton advised them last year that some of the original jurors thought it was would be a waste of money to retry Clemens.

McCann said the department has extra motivation to convict Clemens, given the amount of money spent on the case and the underwhelming outcome of its more-than-seven-year investigation of Barry Bonds over steroids.

Bonds, baseball’s career home run leader, was found guilty last year on just one count, obstruction of justice, for giving an evasive answer to a grand jury when asked about drug use. He received a sentence of 30 days confinement at his estate in Beverly Hills. Prosecutors dropped three other counts charging Bonds with making false statements after the jury deadlocked on those charges. Bonds has appealed his conviction.

“For the government to lose this case after obtaining a very mild victory against Bonds,” McCann said, “would invite a lot of questions about the appropriateness of these prosecutions.”

In addition, the Justice Department recently closed, without bringing any charges, an expensive two-year, multi-continent investigation of possible drug use by Lance Armstrong, the cyclist who beat cancer and won the Tour de France seven straight times.

The essence of the Clemens case remains the same: The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is charged with perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress for telling a House committee under oath, in both a public hearing and in a deposition with committee staff, that he hadn’t used steroids or human growth hormone during his 24-season career.

The key witness for the government will be Clemens’ former strength trainer, Brian McNamee, who says he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone, and even kept the used needles that will be entered as scientific evidence at trial.

Clemens’ lawyers will seek to discredit McNamee, who provided drugs to several professional baseball players and has acknowledged he hasn’t always told the truth about Clemens’ drug use and other matters. McNamee initially denied giving Clemens drugs, before admitting to federal agents he injected the pitcher. The defense team has said that the trainer fabricated the evidence.

Harder to discredit will be another prosecution witness, Andy Pettitte, a former Clemens teammate who recently came out of retirement to mount a comeback attempt with the New York Yankees. Pettitte says that Clemens, in a private conversation in 1999 or 2000, acknowledged using HGH. Clemens has said Pettitte “misremembers” their conversation.

If convicted on all six charges, Clemens faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. Maximum penalties are unlikely because Clemens doesn’t have a criminal record, but Walton made plain at the first trial that Clemens was at risk of going to jail.

Under U.S. sentencing guidelines, Clemens probably would face up to 15 months to 21 months in prison.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Roger Clemens’ second trial starts Monday

April 16, 2012

The Washington Post on April 15, 2012 released the following:

“By Ann E. Marimow and Del Quentin Wilber

Former pitching powerhouse Roger Clemens returns to the District’s federal courthouse Monday to be tried for a second time on charges that he lied to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs.

The baseball legend’s first trial ended after just two days last summer when the judge declared a mistrial because of a prosecutorial error.

Now the Justice Department will have another chance to try Clemens, an 11-time all-star accused of perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements. Clemens could face 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

The high-stakes trial begins Monday with jury selection, a process expected to include lengthy questioning of the backgrounds and biases of more than 80 Washingtonians. Some legal observers familiar with the case said the retrial gives the government an advantage because prosecutors have had a preview of the defense team’s approach and time to retool and prepare witnesses.

The government has the “upper hand” after hearing the defense’s road map for the case the first time around, said Steven Levin, a former federal prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer.

But Michael Volkov, another former federal prosecutor, said the government must overcome the challenge of convincing jurors of the importance of bringing such a case when no one was injured and no major national policy was affected by the allegations.

Volkov suggested that the government would have to tie its case to broader concerns about steroid abuse in professional sports and its potential impact on children.

“The question is, how do prosecutors make people care?” Volkov said. “Everybody believes Congress lies to them anyway.”

In their first round of opening statements last July, prosecutors said Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs to prolong his storied career and then lied about it to a House committee to shore up his legacy.

Clemens, 49, won an unprecedented seven Cy Young awards during his 24-year career with the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and Houston Astros. His defense team, led by Rusty Hardin, said Clemens had a track record as a hard-working professional who was clean, and never lied.

A central figure in the case is Clemens’s former trainer, Brian McNamee, who told Congress he had injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens’s lawyers have said McNamee, whose story about steroids has changed over the years, cannot be trusted.

Finding an impartial jury for such a well-publicized case could be tricky. The trial coincides with the start of the Major League Baseball season and the return to the sport of pitcher Andy Pettitte, a former Clemens teammate and friend who may be a key government witness.

“It makes a difficult process exponentially more difficult,” said Andrew White, a former federal prosecutor.

The Justice Department initially took the case after Congress requested an investigation into Clemens’s testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in 2008. Clemens denied using steroids or human growth hormone following a 2007 report by former senator George Mitchell that identified Clemens and dozens of other players as having taken banned substances.

Major League Baseball has since 1971 prohibited the use of steroids and human growth hormone — known as HGH — without a prescription. The league explicitly banned steroids in 1991 and HGH in 2005.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton declared a mistrial last July after the government showed a video clip that included barred evidence.

Prosecutors led by Steven Durham and Daniel Butler played a videotaped segment of congressional testimony that referenced Pettitte’s wife. Andy Pettitte, who recently came out of retirement to rejoin the Yankees and was also named in Mitchell’s report, told congressional investigators Clemens confided in him about taking a performance-enhancing substance. He said he shared the conversation with his wife.

Laurie Pettitte gave Congress an affidavit backing her husband’s claims, and Walton ruled before the first trial that prosecutors could not raise her statements before the jury.

While Walton said he was troubled by the government’s misstep, he ruled that a second trial would not violate Clemens’s constitutional protection against double jeopardy, which ensures defendants are not subjected to endless prosecutions.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.