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:

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.


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

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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.


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.