Prosecutors Poised to Rest in Roger Clemens’ Federal Criminal Trial

May 29, 2012

MLB.com on May 29, 2012 released the following:

By John Schlegel / MLB.com

“Prosecutors poised to rest case vs. Clemens

WASHINGTON — As the seventh week of the Roger Clemens federal perjury trial begins, the prosecution is poised to rest its case against the former star pitcher.

With likely two witnesses remaining before the government’s case gives way to the defense’s case, which lead attorney Rusty Hardin has said will take seven or eight court days to present, the prosecution has called 21 witnesses over 19 days of complicated, detailed and sometimes tedious testimony to attempt to prove to jurors beyond a reasonable doubt that Clemens lied to Congress in 2008.

The defense will continue to endeavor to raise that doubt with its case, which will include repeat appearances from federal agents Jeff Novitzky and John Longmire, who each spent several hours on the stand as witnesses for the prosecution.

Before Hardin and fellow defense attorney Michael Attanasio, who proved to be a potent force in cross-examination of witnesses from Andy Pettitte to scientific experts, take their turn in presenting Clemens’ case, the prosecution will wrap up its presentation with what it hopes is an effective finale Tuesday.

Clemens is charged with three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of Congress based on his testimony during a Feb. 13, 2008, hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a Feb. 5, 2008, deposition conducted by committee staff members. Clemens said at the hearing, “Let me be clear: I have never used steroids or HGH.”

Brian McNamee, who served as a strength and conditioning trainer to Clemens in one capacity or another for nearly a decade, said in his own deposition and at that same hearing and again in a week-long stay on the witness stand in the trial that he had injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs on numerous occasions, keeping items he says proves it in a beer can and a mailing box for nearly seven years.

Forensic scientist Alan Keel revealed Friday that Clemens’ DNA was found on a needle and two cotton balls that were part of the physical evidence McNamee kept in his house for several years before turning it over to the government. Keel also withstood rigorous cross-examination from Attanasio and numerous skeptical questions from jurors.

When court reconvenes Tuesday, the government intends to call Wall Street investment manager Anthony Corso and FBI forensic scientist Eric Pokorak. Prosecutors indicated at one point they might call one other as yet unnamed witness as well.

Corso is expected to testify about how McNamee told him in 2002 that Clemens had used HGH to help with recovery and told him in 2005 that he had saved needles from Clemens, combining with the testimony from former Major Leaguer David Segui to further rebut defense attacks that McNamee made up his story to appease federal investigators in 2007.

Pokorak likely will tie up the loose ends on the forensics introduced so far. Testimony has yet to provide the link between the items Keel testified had Clemens’ DNA to the steroids that other scientific experts testified were found on the items.

The government filed a pair of motions on Memorial Day. One moves to rebut the defense’s attacks on Keel and inform the jury that the defense also could have tested the evidence.

The other motion attempts to head off some of the character witnesses the defense intends to call, asking the court to “preclude or limit additional evidence of the defendant’s athletic work ethic and any opinion testimony by former coaches, trainers or teammates regarding the defendant not showing any signs of steroid or HGH use.”

The government argued that such testimony should open the door to testimony from other baseball players who “also adhered to strong athletic work ethics but nonetheless used steroids or HGH to perform better than their competitors.”

The pace of the trial was a significant issue earlier in the trial, which was projected to last 4-6 weeks — so much so that Judge Reggie Walton imposed time limits on the attorneys of 90 minutes for direct and cross. But Walton allowed both sides some leeway on that with Keel, given the importance of the evidence he discussed. Juror questions of Keel took about an hour as well.

Two jurors were excused for falling asleep on the job, and now a third juror may not be able to return. Juror No. 16, a Metro transit police officer, found out as Friday’s proceedings were coming to a close that her mother had passed away. Walton indicated it’s unlikely she’ll return to duty, which would leave the jury panel with 12 jurors and just one alternate remaining.”

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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 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.


Key witness in Clemens trial to take stand again

May 21, 2012

Reuters on May 21, 2012 released the following:

“By Lily Kuo

(Reuters) – Government prosecutors on Monday will try to salvage the credibility of their key witness in the perjury trial of former Major League Baseball star Roger Clemens when his ex-trainer who said he supplied the pitching ace with drugs takes the stand.

Brian McNamee, the most important witness for federal prosecutors who have charged Clemens with lying to the U.S. Congress about using the performance-enhancing drugs, will be wrapping up more than 20 hours of testimony in U.S. District Court.

In questioning last week, lawyers for the pitching great attacked McNamee’s trustworthiness and hammered him over inconsistencies in his story.

Also on Monday, Judge Reggie Walton was expected to rule on a government motion to allow previously prohibited evidence showing that McNamee supplied drugs to other players – a move that could extend the trial. It is already expected to take until June 8.

McNamee says he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone from 1998 to 2001, citing as evidence needles, gauze, a broken steroid ampoule and human growth hormone stuffed into a Miller Lite beer can that McNamee said Clemens had given to him in 2002.

Clemens, 49, is being tried for a second time on federal charges of lying in 2008 to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating drug use in baseball. His first trial ended in a mistrial last year.

On Friday, pressed by Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin, McNamee revealed that not all of the waste – evidence he had turned over to federal authorities – was connected to Clemens and included items used by other players.

Hardin noted that during a six-week period in 2002, the year Clemens allegedly gave McNamee the can, McNamee pleaded guilty to two charges of driving under the influence in New York. Hardin asked McNamee if the charges showed he had a drinking problem, to which McNamee said, “I disagree.”

McNamee, Clemens’ personal trainer while he pitched for the Toronto Blue Jays and later with the New York Yankees, has admitted lying to federal investigators and to an independent commission headed by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell that investigated drug use in Major League Baseball.

But McNamee has remained steadfast in alleging that Clemens used drugs to enhance his performance.

Clemens was known as “The Rocket” during a career that ran from 1984 to 2007. He won the Cy Young Award as best pitcher seven times and is among the biggest names implicated in drug use in baseball.”

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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 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 Retrial Set to Begin With Prosecutors on Notice

April 13, 2012
Roger Clemens

The New York Times on April 12, 2012 released the following:

“By JULIET MACUR

WASHINGTON — After bungling its first attempt at prosecuting Roger Clemens on charges that he lied to Congress about his steroid use, the government on Monday will start its second effort to convict him in federal court.

Like the initial trial last July, this one is expected to unfold over four to six weeks before Clemens — one of baseball’s greatest pitchers — learns his fate. And like the previous trial, the testimony of one man, Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, could turn out to be the strongest evidence against Clemens.

Yet prosecutors are likely to approach this do-over effort a little differently than the first attempt, considering how their big error during Clemens’s first trial nearly derailed their entire case. Judge Reggie Walton of United States District Court declared a mistrial after only two days of testimony because the government showed jurors evidence that he had deemed inadmissible.

“The government starts out with at least one strike against it because of what it did last time, and that can only be good for the defense,” said Alan M. Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor who teaches a course called the Law of Baseball. “I think the government will be very gun-shy this time. You will see the tamest prosecutors ever.”

But the prosecutors still want to win, probably more than ever — and not just to redeem themselves after their public embarrassment.

The federal government is quite aware that it has a flawed track record when it comes to investigating and prosecuting high-profile athletes accused of crimes related to performance-enhancing drug use. It has spent millions of dollars over the better part of a decade only to have several high-profile outcomes fall well short of the punishment it sought.

Last year, Barry Bonds, who holds the major league record for home runs in a season and a career, was convicted on only one of five counts that stemmed from the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative steroids investigation. Found guilty of obstructing justice, Bonds was sentenced to what prosecutors considered a lenient two years of probation and six months of home confinement. He is appealing the conviction.

In addition, the federal government this year dropped its nearly two-year drug investigation of Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, with hardly an explanation as to why it did so.

“Having gone this far, after all that has happened, the government has to win the Clemens case,” Dershowitz said. “But they have to win fairly.”

Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, has been charged with perjury, making false statements and obstruction of Congress. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted on all counts. The government contends that Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids and human growth hormone, during his career and that he lied about that drug use when he testified to Congress in 2008.

The main arguments on both sides are expected to be the same as they were last summer. Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer, is expected to testify that he gave Clemens performance-enhancing drugs. Pettitte, Clemens’s former teammate and former close friend, is expected to testify that Clemens admitted to him that he had used human growth hormone.

Lawyers for Clemens have called McNamee a liar and have contended that Pettitte did not accurately remember his conversation with Clemens.

“To some extent, it’s still a he said, she said,” said Mathew Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor who is not involved with the case. “It will all come down to corroborating evidence.”

But one big difference this time around, some legal experts said, is that Judge Walton has shown disdain not only for the case, but for the prosecutors as well.

An irritated Walton last July scolded the prosecutors for showing jurors inadmissible evidence, saying even a first-year law student would have avoided the gaffe. He said he found it difficult to believe that the prosecutors had not made the mistake on purpose.

He also went as far as to raise the question of whether the government should reimburse Clemens for the money he spent on the mistrial.

Daniel C. Richman, a criminal law professor at Columbia University, said Walton might make it even harder on the prosecutors to succeed this time around.

“It appears that he has real issues with the government’s pursuit of the case and threw a brushback pitch at them last time,” Richman said. “Had this been a murder case, I doubt that the judge would have talked about reimbursement for the defendant. It shows a level of solicitude for the defendant that you don’t normally see.”

Richman added that judges have “an enormous amount of discretion” on how they manage trials and what evidence they let in, and that it often reflects what they think of the case. In turn, the judge’s attitude can rub off on the jury.

“Juries are very open to taking signals from judges because the judge is the one person they respect as neutral,” he said. “If the judge doesn’t like the case, they’ll figure it out, and an experienced judge is certainly aware of that.”

Still, the prosecution has said it is confident in its case. It contends it has “overwhelming evidence” against Clemens, including cotton balls and syringes with traces of steroids and Clemens’s DNA.

It also has the potentially powerful testimony of Pettitte, a highly respected player and one long prized by his teammates for being loyal and accountable. Pettitte and Clemens were teammates for nine seasons, with the Yankees and the Houston Astros.

Last summer, Pettitte was in his first year of retirement, and his testimony, had it taken place, would probably not have been a major distraction for the Yankees. This time, though, the circumstances are different.

Pettitte decided to come out of retirement last month and rejoin the Yankees, and he is currently pitching in the team’s minor league system as he works his way back into pitching shape.

He could be ready to pitch in the major leagues by the beginning of May, meaning he may be back with the Yankees when he is summoned to testify against Clemens. If so, the Yankees and Pettitte would find themselves in an extremely uncomfortable position, with reporters, fans and players all aware that Pettitte could deal a potentially serious blow to a former teammate.

Pettitte’s testimony is crucial to the government’s case, Walton said, so crucial that it is what caused the mistrial in the first place.

Walton stopped the trial last summer after the jury was shown evidence bolstering Pettitte’s testimony. The prosecution had played a videotape for the jury that contained a part of the 2008 Congressional hearings on performance-enhancing drug use in baseball.

The tape showed Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland, making positive comments about Pettitte’s credibility and also showed Cummings reading an affidavit from Pettitte’s wife, Laura. In the affidavit, she said that her husband had told her that Clemens had confided in him about his use of human growth hormone.

Her testimony had been deemed inadmissible by Walton the week before, and the videotape thus incurred his wrath and quickly led to the mistrial.

Now comes the sequel.”

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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 Faces Re-Trial on Federal Perjury Charges to Begin on April 16th

March 15, 2012

Chron.com on March 15, 2012 released the following:

“Baseball great Roger Clemens faces re-trial April 16

Posted by Stewart Powell

The retrial of legendary baseball pitcher Roger Clemens on federal perjury charges begins April 16.

Federal trial Judge Reggie Walton set the schedule for Clemens’ retrial today.

Walton summoned lawyers on both sides to a so-called motions hearing on April 13 to hear prosecutors and defense lawyers argue various pre-trial motions in the high-profile case.

Clemens stands accused of six counts of making false statements to Congress about his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his sworn public testimony in February 2008.

His initial trial ended in a mistrial last July 14 after prosecutors displayed evidence to the jury that the judge had ruled inadmissible.

Clemens, a baseball star in high school and college in Texas, went on to become a seven-time Cy Young Award winner in major league baseball during a 23-year career with four teams that included playing for the Houston Astros from 2004 through 2006.”

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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 McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Federal Judge Refuses to Throw Out Roger Clemens Perjury Case

September 2, 2011

Reuters on September 2, 2011 released the following:

“(Reuters) – A judge on Friday refused to throw out the perjury case against pitching star Roger Clemens over steroid use after a mistrial was declared when prosecutors presented evidence that had been barred.

Judge Reggie Walton agreed to start a second trial on April 17 over whether the former pitcher lied when he told Congress he had never taken steroids or performance-enhancing drugs. Prosecutors contend that he did and committed perjury and obstruction.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Eric Beech)”

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 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 McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Judge Weighs Mistrial in Clemens Case

July 14, 2011

The Wall Street Journal on July 14, 2011 released the following:

“By Devlin Barrett

The judge in the Roger Clemens trial said Thursday he will probably have to declare a mistrial after jurors improperly heard details that he had previously ruled were inadmissible.

“I can’t in good faith leave this case in a situation where a man’s liberty is at risk when the government should have taken steps to ensure that we were not in this situation,’’ said Judge Reggie Walton, who is overseeing the trial at federal court in Washington, D.C. “I don’t see how I can unring the bell.’’

Clemens, considered one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, is on trial for allegedly lying to lawmakers when he repeatedly claimed under oath in 2008 that he had not used steroids or human growth hormone. He faces a possible prison sentence if convicted.

The second day of testimony came to a grinding halt Thursday morning after prosecutors played tape of Clemens being questioned by a member of Congress. In the video shown to the jury, a lawmaker asks Clemens about statements made by Laura Pettitte, the wife of Andy Pettitte, a friend and former teammate of Clemens on the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.

The judge had previously ruled that the jurors would not be told that Ms. Pettitte had confirmed her husband’s account that Clemens once admitted using human growth hormone. She told investigators that her husband told her about that conversation shortly after it happened in 1999 or 2000.

The judge ruled the conversation with the wife was hearsay, and not admissible. Yet the video shown to the jury showed a mention of that statement by Laura Pettitte.

“I think a first year law student would know that you can’t bolster the credibility of a witness with clearly inadmissible evidence,’’ Judge Walton told prosecutors on Thursday. “There must be a total misunderstanding on the government’s part,’’ said the judge. “I thought I had made it perfectly clear.’’”

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

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

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

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Judiciary Supports Retroactivity of Crack Cocaine Amendments

June 22, 2011
Judge Reggie Walton
Judge Reggie Walton (D. D.C.) testified in June before the U.S. Sentencing Commission

The U.S. Courts – The Third Branch in June 2011 released the following:

““I recommend that the Sentencing Commission . . . give retroactive effect to its recently promulgated amendments lowering sentences for crack offenses,” Judge Reggie Walton (D. D.C.) said at a Commission hearing held this month to consider making recently promulgated crack cocaine amendments retroactive. Walton spoke on behalf of the Judicial Conference Criminal Law Committee.

The amendments would reduce penalties for crack cocaine trafficking and would modify the guidelines provisions related to simple possession of crack cocaine. The sentences of more than 12,000 federal inmates would be affected by a decision to make the amendments retroactive.

Despite significant anticipated budget reductions for the Judiciary and the workload associated with sentence reductions for more than 12,000 inmates, Walton told the Commission that the Criminal Law Committee “continues to believe that an extremely serious administrative problem would have to exist to justify not applying the amendment retroactively. At this time, the Committee does not believe that an extremely serious problem exists.”

Walton also said there continues to be strong support throughout the Judiciary to remedy the injustices related to crack sentencing.

“If the guideline is faulty and has been fixed for future cases, then we also need to undo past errors as well,” he said.

Among the witnesses testifying at the hearing were Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and Thomas R. Kane, acting director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, along with panels of practitioners, law enforcement experts, and academics, and a community interest panel.

Holder also called for the retroactive application of the guideline amendment—with a proviso that applies to certain dangerous offenders: “those who have possessed or used weapons in committing their crimes and those who have significant criminal histories should be categorically prohibited from receiving the benefits of retroactivity,” said Holder.

Walton noted that the Criminal Law Committee’s recommendation in favor of retroactivity is limited to two parts of the amendment: Part A, affecting the drug quantity table for offenses involving crack cocaine; and Part C, which deletes a cross reference in the guidelines manual that effectively lowers guideline ranges for certain defendants involving simple possession of crack cocaine. Both of these amendments, “are consistent with the Judicial Conference’s position opposing sentencing differences between crack and powder cocaine and agreeing to support the reduction of those differences,” said Walton.

In October 2010, the USSC promulgated a temporary emergency amendment that implemented the emergency directive in section 8 of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. In April 2011, the USSC re-promulgated the temporary amendment as a permanent amendment, which will become effective, absent congressional action, on November 1, 2011. At the same time, the Commission asked for comment on whether it should give the amendment retroactive effect.”

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

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

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

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