Arguments conclude in Roger Clemens perjury trial

June 13, 2012

CNN on June 12, 2012 released the following:

“By Paul Courson, CNN

Washington (CNN) — Dueling scientists, a former trainer, friends and family are among the witnesses whose testimony a jury will consider as they decide if famed baseball pitcher Roger Clemens lied to Congress during an investigation of steroid use among major league players.

The case against Clemens involves one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury. He is not charged with illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs, but his denial of such use is part of the case against him.

Federal prosecutor Courtney Saleski, in closing arguments Tuesday, told the jury Clemens “wanted to protect his brand, he wanted to protect his livelihood,” in denying the use of steroids during a 2008 investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives into the problem.

“He did that at the expense of our Congress. He threw sand in their eyes. He stole the truth from them,” Saleski said.

She said a guilty verdict would give that truth back to lawmakers.

The Clemens defense team disputed whether the government has made its case, telling the jury all the evidence came through a former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who had incentive to lie.

“You saw Brian McNamee, the only witness in the history of the world who says he gave or saw an injection of that man,” said defense attorney Michael Attanasio. “One person in the entire world.” During closing arguments, the defense cited the lack of corroborating witnesses, which they said would be a basis for reasonable doubt against any conviction.

“McNamee defines reasonable doubt,” Attanasio said, because of perceived inconsistencies, retractions and corrections he made while testifying.

After verbally providing instructions to the jury late Tuesday, U.S. District judge Reggie Walton sent the jury back to begin deliberations, while acknowledging they may only have time to select a foreperson before letting them go for the day.

The trial has run longer than envisioned, and one juror was moved to alternate status Tuesday because of a fellowship in Germany for which he must depart next week. An alternate was then sent back to join the others.

It took about eight weeks for the prosecution and defense to question 46 witnesses, and the most direct conflict came among expert witnesses as to how to interpret a collection of discarded medical items that allegedly link Clemens to steroid use.

Soiled medical wrappings, cotton balls, drug vials and hypodermic needles that McNamee kept were interpreted differently by both sides. Witnesses for the government said genetic material linked with Clemens suggested it was impossible for McNamee to fabricate the evidence.

But defense witnesses on the same topic said storage in a beer can for years allowed commingling and contamination of materials, making reliable conclusions impossible, and the evidence nearly worthless.

“If you have garbage at the start, you’ll have garbage at the end,” said defense expert witness Dr. Bruce Goldberger, who said his lab would refuse to test such materials without a solid basis for their storage and handling before analysis.

Prosecution witness Dr. Cynthia Morris-Kukoski, an FBI toxicologist, said it is not up to the toxicology lab to make judgments about the materials submitted for testing, with their job only to determine the substances and any genetic identifiers involved.

Former teammate and friend Mike Boddicker testified as to whether Clemens had ever accepted injections, providing an eyewitness account that he had. “I think it was either 1989 or 1990,” Boddicker said, referring to their time together with the Boston Red Sox, describing that he “came into the training room, and saw Roger bent over the table with his pants down, getting a shot.”

The vial, Boddicker said, was clearly marked “B-12” a substance said to provide a pick-me-up after a game or workout.

This is the second trial for Clemens. A year ago, a mistrial was declared before the case reached the jury. The government’s lawyers played video evidence the judge had already banned. Prosecutors said it was an editing mistake, but the Clemens defense team suggested prosecutors were unprepared and had gotten off to a bad start.

“This was a mistake, a regretful mistake,” government attorney David Goodhand said in September in arguing for a new trial. But Walton blasted prosecutors for letting inadmissible evidence be shown.

“I would hate to believe they just blatantly disregarded rulings that I made, but it’s hard for me to reach any other conclusion,” Walton said, before rejecting a defense request that he dismiss the indictment entirely. After consideration, Walton then ordered the new trial.

Several pretrial hearings this time included protests from defense attorneys that the prosecution was trying to take advantage of having heard the initial opening statement last summer by the defense. In the latest trial, defense attorneys expressed concern that prosecutors were trying to “do over” certain efforts the defense may have refuted.

Deliberations Wednesday were set to begin at 1:30 p.m.”

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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.


Clemens trial about lying, not baseball: prosecutors

June 12, 2012

Chicago Tribune on June 12, 2012 released the following:

“Lily Kuo
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors in the perjury trial of former pitching ace Roger Clemens urged jurors on Tuesday to use common sense and not to fall for the “entangled web of lies” he weaved to protect his reputation.

Clemens, 49, is on trial for the second time on federal charges of lying in 2008 to the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating drug use in Major League Baseball.

Prosecutors made closing arguments as jurors prepared to begin deliberations after nearly two months of testimony.

“What is this case about?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Gilberto Guerrero asked. “This case is not about Roger Clemens’ greatness. It is about (him) lying…to protect his legacy.”

Clemens, who won 354 regular-season games and is a record seven-time winner of the yearly Cy Young Award as best pitcher, is among the biggest names implicated in drug use in baseball.

The defense has worked to portray Clemens as a hard worker whose stunning late-career success was the product of dedication and smart pitching, not performance-enhancing drugs.

Defense lawyers will make closing statements and the jury will begin deliberating later Tuesday or Wednesday morning on what they have heard from 46 witnesses in the nine-week trial.

Guerrero outlined the government’s charges against Clemens, including obstruction of Congress, making a false statement and perjury, and appealed to jurors to use their common sense.

He argued against attacks on the testimony of Brian McNamee, the prosecution’s key witness and Clemens’ former trainer, who said he injected Clemens with anabolic steroids and human growth hormone between 1998 and 2001.

Clemens’ lawyers have worked to paint McNamee as a liar who obtained immunity in exchange for his testimony.

“We’re not asking you to like Brian McNamee. … Brian McNamee did a lot of things that weren’t nice … but Roger Clemens is the one who chose Brian McNamee to inject him with steroids and HGH,” Guerrero told the jury.

He also highlighted inconsistencies in defense witnesses from Clemens’s wife, Debbie, who testified that she had received an injection of human growth hormone from McNamee in 2000.

New York Yankees’ pitcher Andy Pettitte testified earlier in the trial that Clemens, a former teammate, told Pettitte in 1999 or 2000 that he had taken human growth hormone but, years later, said he had been referring to his wife’s use of the drug.

Guerrero pointed to physical evidence prosecutors have presented, medical waste which they say contain Clemens DNA and traces of steroids. Defense attorneys have argued that blood and pus on two cotton balls and a small number of cells on a needle, could have been fabricated.

“That’s totally illogical. There’s no way in the world someone could fabricate that,” Guerrero said, echoing the testimony of a government forensic scientist.

McNamee testified that he kept needles, cotton balls, a broken steroid ampoule and other medical waste from injections for Clemens. He turned the evidence in to authorities in 2008.

Clemens won his final Cy Young Award in 2004, the summer he turned 42, in his first season with the Houston Astros.”

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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.


Rep. Darrell Issa won’t testify in Roger Clemens trial

June 5, 2012

The Washington Post on June 4, 2012 released the following:

“By Del Quentin Wilber and Ann E. Marimow,

A powerful congressman will not be forced to testify in the perjury trial of baseball legend Roger Clemens, a judge ruled Monday, siding with federal prosecutors and lawyers for the House of Representatives.

Clemens’s defense team had subpoenaed Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, to take the witness stand about 2008 hearings in which the former pitcher testified; Clemens is accused of lying during those hearings and to congressional investigators when he denied having ever used performance-enhancing drugs.

Court papers from both sides foreshadowed a titanic constitutional clash during arguments Monday, but U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton decided the matter on narrower grounds. He ruled that Issa would probably not have been able to provide “competent” testimony about the decision-making process used by legislators to hold the hearing. Issa was not even the ranking Republican on the committee in 2008.

The judge also said he was concerned that allowing defense lawyers to call Issa would lead to a “swearing match” as lawmakers offered their impressions of the relevance of Clemens’s testimony and the legitimacy of the proceedings.

Prosecutors must prove that Clemens’s alleged lies were “material,” or relevant to Congress’s work, and that the hearing served a legitimate legislative purpose.

The defense team has called the hearing a “show trial” designed to garner publicity, and Issa had been extremely critical of the proceeding, essentially calling it a witch hunt. Clemens’s attorneys hoped that Issa would echo those comments on the witness stand.

House lawyers sought to block Issa’s testimony, arguing that the lawmaker was too busy and was protected by a relatively obscure provision of the Constitution known as the “speech or debate” clause that is designed to shield lawmakers from interference with their official duties by other branches of government. Clemens’s lawyers countered that their client’s right to a fair trial and to confront his accusers trumped such protections.

Though Walton did not rule on the constitutional questions, he said he would likely have ruled that Issa was protected by the “speech or debate” clause.

Legal experts said last week that they expected Walton to rule in favor of House lawyers, though they noted that the showdown highlighted a central absurdity of the trial: Lawmakers, the alleged victims who requested the Justice Department investigation, have elected not to testify at Clemens’s trial on charges of perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements. Instead, the committee tapped a top staffer to tell jurors that the hearings were a proper use of congressional power.

Issa has aggressively used his own subpoena power to investigate the Justice Department and complained that the attorney general has not fully complied with his demands.”

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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: Federal prosecutors rest their perjury case

May 30, 2012

The Washington Post on May 29, 2012 released the following:

“By Del Quentin Wilber and Ann E. Marimow

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday rested their perjury case against retired baseball star Roger Clemens, having elicited testimony from 24 witnesses — on topics ranging from performance-enhancing drugs and vitamin injections to a “booty shot” and a crumpled beer can.

The trial already has gone far longer than the four to six weeks prosecutors estimated when they began picking jurors on April 16. Since then, a parade of witnesses — ranging from New York Yankees pitcher and former teammate Andy Pettitte and athletic trainers to a colorful steroid dealer and forensic experts — have testified about Clemens, his career and whether he took steroids or human growth hormone. Prosecutors allege Clemens lied when he denied to Congress in 2008 that he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens has challenged those allegations and his lawyers began presenting their case to jurors Tuesday that the pitcher became a superstar by working hard, not taking drugs. Their first witness, a high school teammate of the future “Rocket,” testified that Clemens trained so intensely that he blazed a trail in the outfield grass while doing running drills.

Another defense witness, a college teammate, described Clemens’s “diligent, disciplined” routine. “Roger had made up his mind he was going to be successful,” said Mike Capel. “He worked extremely, extremely hard to earn everything he had.”

Defense lawyers have indicated they expect to present seven or eight days of evidence to jurors. One of those witnesses might be Clemens’s wife, Debbie, who is expected to testify that she took human growth hormone, not her husband.

Before resting their case, federal prosecutors called a financial consultant to testify in the hopes of buttressing the credibility of Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former strength coach. McNamee, a key but troubled witness, has alleged he injected Clemens with steroids or human growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001. The financial consultant, Anthony Corso, was also one of McNamee’s clients and testified that the strength coach told him in 2002 or 2003 that Clemens had used human growth hormone to help him recover from workouts.

Corso also testified that McNamee told him in 2005 that he had kept syringes from injections he gave ballplayers so the strength coach would not “get thrown under the bus.” McNamee added that he kept the syringes in a beer can that he put in a box, the financial consultant testified.

Corso testified that he worked out with McNamee from 2002 through 2007 and took growth hormone on McNamee’s recommendation.

McNamee turned over the beer can and box of medical waste to authorities in 2008. Forensic scientists have testified that Clemens’s DNA and steroids were discovered on a needle found in the box — but outside the beer can. The pitcher’s DNA also was discovered on bloody cotton swabs in the can, an expert said. Clemens’s lawyers have assailed the evidence as “garbage” and argued that it could have been contaminated.

The pitcher’s lawyers scored a minor legal victory when U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton agreed to dismiss two of 15 acts that constitute a charge of obstruction of Congress. Even so, jurors only must find that he committed one of those remaining 13 acts to convict him of that charge. Walton declined to dismiss any of the other five charges of perjury or making false statements.

In other developments, a third juror was dismissed from the panel because her mother died last week. That leaves 12 jurors and one alternate to finish out a trial that has already reached extra innings.”

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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.


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

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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 authenticate physical evidence used against pitcher

May 22, 2012

The Washington Post on May 21, 2012 released the following:

“By Ann E. Marimow and Del Quentin Wilber

Federal prosecutors delved into the nitty gritty of the distribution, design and freshness of Miller Lite beer cans Monday as they sought to authenticate the physical evidence being used against star pitcher Roger Clemens in his perjury trial in the District’s federal courthouse.

A crushed beer can has played something of a leading role in the trial: Clemens’s former strength coach and chief accuser, Brian McNamee, used one to store needles, cotton balls and gauze he said he used to inject the baseball legend.

McNamee, who testified for a sixth and final day Monday, has said he recovered the can from Clemens’s recycling bin after injecting him with performance-enhancing drugs at his Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Displaying a chart that showed the evolution of the blue-and-gold Miller Lite can since the 1970s, government lawyers used the testimony of a beer company manager to try to back up McNamee’s assertion by putting a date on the can.

MillerCoors manager Anthony Manuele testified about the “freshness code” on the can in question and determined that it was filled in July 2001 at a North Carolina brewery and would have hit retail shelves in August.

On cross-examination, Clemens’s lawyer Rusty Hardin tried to raise doubt about McNamee’s story and pointed out that the company’s distribution map meant that the strength coach could have purchased the can in his home town of Breezy Point, N.Y.

Manuele’s testimony showed the lengths prosecutors have gone to try to authenticate evidence against Clemens, who is charged with perjury, making false statements and obstruction of Congress for denying to a House panel in 2008 that he had ever used performance-enhancing drugs. Congress was following up on a 2007 report by former senator George Mitchell that named dozens of ballplayers, including Clemens.

Government lawyers have already called a U.S. Postal Service employee to try to establish the likely date of a shipping receipt from steroid supplier Kirk Radomski to McNamee at Clemens’s Houston home.

The trial, now in its sixth week, again featured testimony from McNamee, who said Monday that he had supplied several big league ballplayers with performance-enhancing drugs and shared that information with law enforcement officials.

McNamee’s testimony regarding other ballplayers and performance-enhancing drugs was intended to suggest that he was not out to get Clemens when he began confiding in federal agents in 2007.

Defense attorneys for Clemens had opposed allowing McNamee to testify about the other players because of concerns about “guilt by association.” But U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled that the government could introduce the information as a way to bolster McNamee’s credibility.

Last week, McNamee endured aggressive questioning by Hardin, Clemens’s lead attorney. He was forced to acknowledge that his story about injecting the baseball legend had evolved over time and that he had lied to federal agents and, separately, to police in a Florida criminal investigation.

But McNamee has largely remained unapologetic about his changing story. McNamee said Monday that he was loyal to Clemens and had no incentive to damage his employer’s reputation. The strength coach agreed to cooperate with federal agents, he said, to try to avoid getting in trouble for distributing the banned substances.

He told authorities about his involvement with several players, including pitchers Mike Stanton and Andy Pettitte and infielder Chuck Knoblauch. Earlier in the trial, Pettitte gave conflicting testimony about his memory of a conversation with Clemens about human growth hormone.

Before leaving the stand, McNamee said he regretted helping Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs. McNamee said he had become unemployable, ruined his marriage and his relationship with his children.

“I shouldn’t have gotten involved. I should have just educated and left it at that. I shouldn’t have enabled,” he said.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys also questioned a neighbor of Jose Canseco, Clemens’s former teammate. Alexander Lowrey was 11 years old at the time he attended a 1998 pool party at Canseco’s home, where he had his picture taken with Clemens.

McNamee alleges that Clemens and Canseco talked about performance-enhancing drugs at the party, but defense lawyers suggested that Clemens was playing golf during the time that McNamee attended.

Lowrey was questioned in an attempt to establish whether Clemens and McNamee could have been at the party together. Under cross-examination, Lowrey conceded to Hardin that he was uncertain of the date of the party or the exact times that he was there, raising questions about the timing of the conversation McNamee claimed to have observed.”

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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.


News Guide: Key details in Clemens perjury trial

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

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

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

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

Some key data and figures in the case:

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CHARGES:

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

POSSIBLE PENALTIES:

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

WITNESSES

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

JURY SELECTION:

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

THUMBNAILS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

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

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

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


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

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“Bonds among potential witnesses in Clemens trial

By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

————————————————————–

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

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

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


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.


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.