Debbie Clemens to back up husband on HGH shot

June 8, 2012

Associated Press on June 8, 2012 released the following:

“By FREDERIC J. FROMMER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — “My heart’s pounding,” Debbie Clemens said just before she walked into a federal courtroom to take the stand in her husband’s perjury trial.

Lawyers on both sides of the Roger Clemens case are ready for key testimony from her about her husband’s alleged use of human growth hormone as the defense nears the end of its case.

Debbie Clemens, who spent only 15 minutes on the stand Thursday fielding background questions before court recessed for the day, was to get to the crux of her testimony Friday. She was expected to say that she received a shot of HGH from Clemens’ then-strength coach, Brian McNamee, about 12 years ago, and that her husband wasn’t present.

McNamee, the government’s key witness, testified last month that not only was the star baseball pitcher there, he had summoned McNamee to the couple’s master bathroom in Houston to give Debbie Clemens the drug.

McNamee said she looked at her husband and said, “I can’t believe you’re going to let him do this to me,” and Clemens responded, “He injects me. Why can’t he inject you?”

Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs. Among the false statement he’s alleged to have made are that he never used HGH and that McNamee injected his wife without Clemens’ prior knowledge or approval.

Wearing a cream-colored suit, Debbie Clemens told U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton that she was being represented by her husband’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin. Walton gave her a few minutes to talk to Hardin about her right not to incriminate herself, after which she came back and said she was ready to testify.

Hardin earlier had told Walton that the HGH injection happened so long ago that the statute of limitations would bar charges against her now.

Debbie Clemens testified briefly Thursday about the couple’s time in Boston, where her husband pitched for the Red Sox from 1984 to 1996. She recalled that son Koby, born in 1986, was dubbed “most valuable baby” because his father was MVP that year.

For the benefit of the jury, Walton asked her what MVP meant.

“Most valuable baby,” she said, prompting laughter in the courtroom – including a rare laugh from her husband across the room. She quickly corrected her answer to most valuable player.

She also said that while she liked Boston, “the media could be very miserable. It was hard living a hero and a villain every other day, what they were creating.”

After the court recessed, Roger Clemens came up behind his wife in the hallway and put his arm around her.

Earlier Thursday, McNamee’s wife, Eileen, testified, but there was no embrace waiting for her, as the couple is going through a contentious divorce. She said she was furious with both her husband and Clemens when the former pitcher’s lawyers allowed details of the McNamees’ oldest son’s diabetes to be revealed during a 2008 nationally televised news conference.

The news conference was part of a media blitz during which Clemens denied the doping allegations McNamee made about the pitcher in the then-just-released Mitchell Report on drugs in baseball. Hardin and Clemens played a taped phone call in which McNamee told Clemens, “My son is dying.”

That wasn’t true, Eileen McNamee said, although she had left her husband a message around that time about blood test results that weren’t what they were supposed to be.

“Brian didn’t bother to call me back. He called Roger and told him his son was dying,” she testified.

Then her 10-year-old son heard the news conference, and “now my son thinks he’s dying.”

Prosecutor Courtney Saleski said Clemens could have kept the information about her son out of the news conference, but instead, “he played it for the world.”

“Yes, he did,” Eileen McNamee said. She acknowledged that she called her husband and told him to go after Clemens.

The next day, around 3 a.m., Brian McNamee retrieved the evidence that he said had been kept in and around a beer can inside a FedEx box for more than six years, the remnants of an alleged steroids injection of Clemens in 2001, which is the key physical evidence against Clemens.

“I asked him where he was going, and he said he was heading to his lawyers, and he was out the door,” she recalled.

Brian McNamee had testified that he decided to turn over the evidence to federal authorities against Clemens “because of what he did to my son.””

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


Edwards Verdict Shows Clemens Need Not Fear Taint Of Reputation

June 4, 2012

Bloomberg on June 3, 2012 released the following:

“By David Glovin

Jurors tend to look past a criminal defendant’s reputation, no matter how odious, to render verdicts based on fact and law, lawyers said after former presidential candidate John Edwards won an acquittal and mistrial last week.

Federal jurors in Greensboro, North Carolina, on May 31 acquitted Edwards of one charge of using illegal campaign contributions to hide an extramarital affair and couldn’t decide about five other counts. They did so after hearing evidence that Edwards cheated on his dying wife and lied to the public about fathering a child with his paramour.

The verdict sends an encouraging signal to Roger Clemens, the former Major League Baseball pitcher now on trial in Washington for lying to Congress about his use of steroids, said Douglas Godfrey, a professor who teaches criminal law at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

“While we would all acknowledge that Edwards and Clemens are not nice guys and they behaved in very bad ways, that’s not the same as violating the law,” Godfrey said in a telephone interview. “Just because you’re an arrogant SOB or philanderer, that’s not the same as committing a crime.”

Edwards’s acquittal and mistrial came 11 months after a Florida jury acquitted Casey Anthony, an Orlando mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, and 22 years after a New York City jury rendered a not guilty verdict in the racketeering case of Imelda Marcos, the former Philippines first lady ridiculed for owning more than 1,000 pair of shoes. In those cases and others, public opinion had turned so harshly against the defendants that a conviction seemed almost an afterthought.

Then the jury weighed in.

Jury Speaks

“It’s a great affirmation of our jury system that people like Casey Anthony and John Edwards, who are personally unlikable and in many ways despicable, can still sit in front of a jury of 12 people and have those 12 people judge them based on the evidence,” said Marc Mukasey, a former federal prosecutor who is now in private practice at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP.

Edwards, a former Democratic U.S. senator from North Carolina and presidential contender in 2008, was accused of violating campaign finance laws by accepting almost $1 million from multimillionaire heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon and Fred Baron, a now-deceased trial attorney, to conceal an affair. The case marked the first time the government prosecuted someone for campaign violations when money was paid to a third party.

Jurors deliberated for nine days before reaching their partial verdict. They couldn’t agree on counts that included a claim that Edwards conspired to protect his candidacy by secretly soliciting and accepting the funds and causing his campaign to file false reports with the Federal Election Commission.

He’s unlikely to be retried, a person familiar with the matter said last week.

Adultery, Arrogance

Except for the defendants’ notoriety — Edwards for adultery and Clemens for arrogance — the two cases have few similarities, said Stefan Passantino, who heads the political law team at McKenna Long & Aldridge in Washington. Lying to Congress, which Clemens is accused of, is a far more established crime than the conduct for which Edwards was on trial, he said.

Still, both defendants have had to confront the prospect that jurors would convict because of their reputations. The Edwards jury didn’t, in part because defense lawyers shifted the focus to ex-campaign aide Andrew Young, who acted as a go- between on transactions involving Mellon and Baron and used some of their money to build his own $1.5 million home.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell also addressed the character issue head-on.

‘Moral Wrongs’

“John Edwards may have committed many moral wrongs but he did not commit a legal one,” Lowell told jurors during his closing argument. “He was a bad husband and lied to his family but there is not a remote chance that he violated campaign finance laws or committed a felony.”

Marcellus McRae, a former federal prosecutor who is now at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles, said jurors were attentive enough to the case’s nuances to see past Edwards’s reputation.

“Perceptions about personalities don’t govern verdicts,” he said. “In Edwards, personality didn’t rule.”

While Clemens is a seven-time Cy Young Award winner as the best pitcher in his league, he also ranks 14th in Major League Baseball for hitting 159 batters with pitches during his career.

Hurled Bat

Lawyers for Clemens, whose reputation for abrasiveness grew after he hurled a bat at an opposing player and because of his performance before Congress, have been taking a page from Edwards’s book. The ex-pitcher’s defense has been focused on tearing down the credibility of the government’s only eyewitness, Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer.

McNamee testified he gave Clemens injections of steroids and human-growth hormone.

Clemens’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, got McNamee to admit he’d lied to federal investigators and accused him of alcohol abuse and engaging in a fraudulent scheme to obtain diet pills.

“The facts are very different, the personalities are different,” Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a partner with McCarter & English LLP in Newark, New Jersey, said of the Clemens and Edwards cases.

‘Positive Message’

“But if there’s any positive message that Clemens can draw out of the Edwards verdict, it’s that jurors will look beyond whatever antipathy they may feel regarding their personal conduct and do their best to make a decision based solely on the facts and law presented to them at the trial,” Mintz said in a telephone interview.

Jacob Frenkel, a former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer who is now with Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker PA in Potomac, Maryland, said it’s proven lying, and not reputation, that puts many celebrity defendants behind bars. He pointed to Martha Stewart, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2004 for obstructing justice by lying to prosecutors, and baseball player Barry Bonds, the career home-run record-holder who was convicted last year of obstructing justice for deceiving a grand jury.

Clemens is accused of obstructing justice and perjury.

“It is the acts of lying or obstruction that often are the downfall,” Frankel said in a telephone interview.

It’s not only Clemens who may take comfort in the Edwards verdict, said Michael Kendall, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in Boston and a former federal prosecutor. In New York, Rajat Gupta, who was once a director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and who ran McKinsey & Co. from 1994 to 2003, is defending against charges that he leaked inside information to hedge fund co-founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Public Hostility

If Edwards could win an acquittal, so might Gupta, even amid public hostility to bankers and Wall Street in the wake of the 2007 financial crisis, he said.

“There are a thousand ways to derail a prosecution,” Kendall said in a telephone interview. “There’s an incredible common sense in collective good judgment in the jury system.”

The Edwards case is U.S. v. Edwards, 11-cr-161, U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina (Greensboro). The Clemens case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington). The Gupta case is U.S. v. Gupta, 11-cr-907, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).”

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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.


Roger Clemens trial: Prosecutors seek to present evidence of McNamee injecting players with drugs

May 18, 2012

The Washington Post on May 18, 2012 released the following:

“By Del Quentin Wilber

Federal prosecutors asked a judge Friday morning to allow them to present evidence that their star witness injected other players with performance-enhancing drugs as they continued to press their perjury case against baseball legend Roger Clemens.

In court papers, prosecutors wrote that they felt it was necessary to seek the introduction of such evidence — which they believe will bolster their witness’s credibility — because defense lawyers have argued that Brian McNamee has “falsely accused” Clemens of having taken steroids and human growth hormone.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton had ruled that prosecutors could not introduce such evidence because it would be prejudicial to Clemens. But he said last year that he would reconsider his decision, depending on how defense lawyers attacked Clemens’s former strength coach.

Prosecutors wrote that they wanted to introduce such evidence because it would buttress McNamee’s contention that he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs. He has said he injected Andy Pettitte, Mike Stanton and Chuck Knoblauch with such substances, and the players have all confirmed his story.

McNamee first made his allegations to federal agents, then to former senator George Mitchell, who issued a 2007 report on the rampant use of steroids in Major League Baseball. He later reiterated those allegations to Congressional investigators and lawmakers. Clemens is charged with lying to Congress in 2008 when he vehemently denied McNamee’s claims.

The government needs to “rebut defendant’s suggestions that McNamee lied to Special Agent Novitzky, Senator Mitchell, Congress, and this jury to avoid being charged with a crime and to gain fame and fortune as a result of the allegations against defendant, the government should be permitted to show that McNamee provided information about the use of HGH by Major League Baseball players Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch, and Mike Stanton, who all subsequently admitted to Congress (Pettitte and Knoblauch) or to the grand jury (Stanton, Pettitte, and Knoblauch) that the information that McNamee provided about them was accurate,” wrote prosecutors with the District’s U.S. Attorney’s Office, which is handling the case.

“Pettitte’s, Knoblauch’s, and Stanton’s admissions of their illegal behavior to Congress and the grand jury are the functional equivalent of guilty pleas. In the face of the attacks on McNamee’s credibility, that evidence makes it less probable that McNamee was or is simply lying out of self-interest against defendant and thus is relevant. This evidence specifically rebuts the notion that McNamee was biased out of self-interest in defendant’s case because McNamee’s association with these other players at the time he saved defendant’s medical waste, as well as the fact that he had and shared the information about other players at the time he was dealing with law enforcement, at the time of his publicity relating to what he told law enforcement.”

McNamee, a former Major League strength coach who worked with and for Clemens, started testifying on Monday and told jurors that he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with steroids or growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens’s lead attorney, Rusty Hardin, began cross-examining him on Tuesday afternoon and has been hammering the former strength coach about inconsistencies in his story and lies he has told over the years.

That cross-examination continues Friday. Federal prosecutors have said they are going to call 14 more witnesses — though they have refused to disclose whom they intend to next put on the witness stand — in a trial that has already drawn sharp criticism from Walton for its sluggish pace. Walton has repeatedly warned lawyers for both sides that jurors are growing restless. He has already excused two jurors for sleeping.”

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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.


McNamee testifies he gave Clemens steroids in 1998

May 14, 2012

Seattlepi.com on May 14, 2012 released the following:

“FREDERIC J. FROMMER, Associated Press, JOSEPH WHITE, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brian McNamee has testified that he first injected Roger Clemens with steroids when they were with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998.

McNamee said Monday he injected Clemens in the buttocks in Clemens’ apartment at the pitcher’s request. McNamee was the strength and conditioning coach for the Blue Jays at the time.

McNamee is the chief witness for the prosecution in the perjury trial of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner. He is the only person who will testify with firsthand knowledge of Clemens using performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens is charged with lying to Congress when he testified in 2008 that he had never used steroids or human growth hormone.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

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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 trial resumes with more from federal agent

May 7, 2012

The Wall Street Journal on May 7, 2012 released the following:

“Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Federal agent Jeff Novitzky returns for a third day of testimony Monday in the Roger Clemens perjury trial, while behind the scenes Clemens’ lawyers sought to strike the testimony of former teammate Andy Pettitte.

Last week, Pettitte testified that Clemens told him he had tried human growth hormone, only to say under cross-examination that he might have misunderstood Clemens. As expected, Clemens’ lawyers filed a motion asking that the jury not be allowed to consider the conversation between the two pitchers.

Pettitte said that it was “fair” to say that there was a 50 percent chance he misunderstood Clemens, his friend and one-time mentor.

“The court should not allow the jury to consider an alleged ‘admission’ that has all the weight of a coin flip,” Clemens’ lawyers wrote in a filing Monday morning, before the resumption of the trial.

Clemens is accused of lying to Congress in 2008 when he denied using HGH and steroids.

Meanwhile, the government will conclude its re-direct questioning of Novitzky, an agent with the Food and Drug Administration. He has already been questioned by the government and cross-examined by Clemens’ lawyer.

Last week, Novitzky described the physical evidence he had collected from Clemens’ former strength coach, Brian McNamee. Prosecutors will try to prove the evidence shows the former baseball pitcher used steroids and human growth hormone.

Clemens’ lawyers have said they will contend that the evidence has been tainted and contaminated.

McNamee is expected to testify later this week, perhaps as early as Tuesday.

Prosecutors got off to a rough start Monday, when U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton told them they could not play a clip of a 2008 Clemens’ “60 Minutes” interview for the jury. In the clip, Clemens says he was advised by counsel not to talk to former Sen. George Mitchell, who was investigating performance-enhancing drugs in baseball and would identify Clemens as a user in his report to Major League Baseball.

After the interview aired, Clemens testified to Congress that he didn’t know that Mitchell wanted to talk to him. Prosecutors wanted to show the “60 Minutes” clip in an attempt to show Clemens was obstructing Congress, arguing the two statements were contradictory. But Walton said the clip could not be played without interfering with the attorney-client privilege. He also said it was possible Clemens was told generally by lawyers not to talk to Mitchell, without actually informing the pitcher that Mitchell wanted to talk to him.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

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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.


Roger Clemens trial: Jurors hear Clemens’s denials; defense seeks to admit unflattering accounts of McNamee

May 1, 2012

Washington Post on April 30, 2012 released the following:

“By Ann Marimow
Defense attorneys in the perjury trial of legendary pitcher Roger Clemens attacked the government’s presumptive star witness Monday, saying trainer Brian McNamee’s past contains “more dirt than a pitcher’s mound.”

That line came in a filing from lead defense attorney Rusty Hardin, whose team objected to the prosecution’s efforts to keep out information about McNamee’s troubled background.

Clemens, on trial in the District’s federal court for allegedly lying to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs during a 2008 hearing, faces up to 30 years in prison. Federal prosecutors want to preclude unflattering and potentially damaging information about McNamee, who is expected to testify that he injected Clemens with steroids on numerous occasions.

They want U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to declare the information “off-limits” to prevent the defense team from asking McNamee about it during his cross-examination.

The defense wants to allow the jury to hear evidence of McNamee’s alleged drug problem, financial struggles, blemished record as a New York City police officer and his involvement in a criminal investigation in Florida. McNamee lied to authorities in a 2001 investigation involving the sexual assault of an unconscious woman at a St. Petersburg hotel.

“There is no question that Mr. McNamee committed obstruction of justice…the very crime the government seeks to convict Mr. Clemens of in this case,” according to Clemens’s lawyers.

In the courtroom Monday, federal prosecutors played recordings of Clemens’s denials in his interview with Congressional staffers and his testimony to Congress while the former All-Star took copious notes on a legal pad.

The defense sought to challenge the legitimacy of the 2008 Congressional hearing that examined whether Clemens had used performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens’s lead lawyer quizzed the committee’s former staff director, Phil Barnett, about whether Clemens appeared voluntarily.

“Putting him up there next to his accuser and trying to let the world decide right or wrong is not a legitimate function of Congress,” Rusty Hardin said in an exchange with Judge Walton out of earshot of jurors. “It was solely to get Roger Clemens.”

Barnett said Congress was trying to reconcile a report by former senator George Mitchell that named Clemens and other ballplayers as steroid users with Clemens’s public denials.

In the taped interview, Clemens was quizzed about his relationship with McNamee, his former strength coach. McNamee told Congress that he injected Clemens on several occasions with steroids, but Clemens said the injections were vitamins.

Clemens was asked in his deposition with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform why McNamee, not a team doctor, was injecting him, and whether the shots could have been tainted with steroids.

“I have no reason to believe he was doing anything harmful,” Clemens said, later describing McNamee as “great.”

Clemens also described in detail his account of the use of human growth hormone known as HGH by his wife, Debbie, who he said was injected by McNamee in the bedroom of the couple’s Houston home. Clemens said he was not at home at the time, and was concerned that McNamee had “drugs on the property.”

Clemens said he rifled through McNamee’s belongings, which the trainer had left behind, but did not find any HGH.

“Deb cried about it; she apologized to me about it,” Clemens said. “It’s embarrassing because she thinks she’s been pulled into a trap.”

Clemens’s account is at odds with McNamee’s story that Clemens was present when McNamee gave his wife the shot.”

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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.


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.