Clemens trial hears FBI witness describe handling of needles

May 8, 2012

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
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 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.


Report: Syringes shown at Clemens trial

May 4, 2012

Fox News on May 3, 2012 released the following:

“Federal prosecutors presented needles, syringes and bloody cotton balls that they claim show pitching legend Roger Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs, USA Today reported Thursday.

Jeff Novitzky, a special agent for the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Investigation, took the stand to outline the evidence he says was given to him in January 2008 by Clemens’ former trainer, Brian McNamee.

Novitzky, a former IRS agent, was involved in previous steroid investigations, including the BALCO case which involved baseball home run king Barry Bonds and Olympic sprinter Marion Jones.

The government must prove Clemens’ steroid use in order to show he committed perjury in 2008 by testifying before Congress that he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

McNamee stashed cotton balls, allegedly with Clemens’ blood on them, in a beer can for years along with used needles and vials alleged to have contained steroids.

Prosecutor Steve Durham sought to show the jury that Novitzky was meticulous in his handling of the crucial evidence.

But defense attorney Rusty Hardin called it a “hodgepodge of garbage” that could have easily been tampered with before it was given to Novitzky.

Hardin also questioned the motives of McNamee, who is scheduled to testify next week, suggesting he could have lied about injecting Clemens in order to avoid prosecution.

On Wednesday, the government’s case against Clemens took a major hit when Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte said he was only 50 percent sure that the seven-time Cy Young winner told him he used human growth hormone.

Prosecutors were relying on Pettitte’s testimony to go along with McNamee’s claims and the purported physical evidence presented Thursday.

Clemens, 49, has steadfastly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs. If convicted on all charges, he could face 15 to 21 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.”

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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 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.


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.


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

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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.