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
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.


As Gupta Insider Trading Trial Begins, Prosecution to Call First Witness

May 22, 2012

WNYC News on May 22, 2012 released the following:

By WNYC Newsroom

“Federal prosecutors are expected to call their first witness in the case against former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta on Tuesday.

The witness list in the case reads like a who’s who in business, including Warren Buffet and Lloyd Blankfein. But the prosecution is expected to call Gupta’s former secretary, Caryn Eisenberg to the stand first. Other possible witnesses for the prosecution on Tuesday include an FBI agent and a former co-worker of Gupta’s from the consulting firm McKinsey.

Prosecution and defense teams have made their opening arguments in the trial of the prominent NY businessman on Monday.

Government lawyer said they have Gupta’s phone records that show he illegally passed corporate secrets to his friend, Raj Rajaratnam, who ran a hedge fund. Assistant U.S. Attorney Reed Brodsky told jurors in opening statements that Gupta “threw away his duties, threw away his responsibilities and broke the law.”

Brodsky recounted how former billionaire Rajaratnam earned close to $1 million after Gupta told him in a phone call that Goldman had received an offer from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to invest $5 billion in the banking giant in 2008.

“That was trading on secrets coming from someone who actually knew what was happening in the confines of the board room,” Brodsky said. “That’s called insider trading and that’s a serious crime.”

Gupta’s lawyer said the prosecution’s evidence is like a cropped photograph. It doesn’t tell the whole story, it’s circumstantial. He questioned why a rich and successful businessman take this risk.

Defense attorney Gary P. Naftalis told jurors that Gupta “never defrauded anybody. He never cheated anybody.” Naftalis argued the call harms rather than helps the government’s case because no unusual trading occurred around that time, and the men were discussing information already reported by analysts and journalists.

The 63-year-old Gupta was a former Goldman Sachs board member, and also a former board member at Procter & Gamble Co.

Gupta has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud charges that carry a potential for more than 100 years 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 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’s Lawyer Tries New Approach

April 25, 2012

The New York Times on April 24, 2012 released the following:

“By JULIET MACUR

WASHINGTON — Standing in front of the jury box, Rusty Hardin, Roger Clemens’s lawyer, spoke in a near whisper as he ended his opening argument Tuesday, begging jurors to realize that the government’s perjury case against Clemens is “tragically wrong.”

Hardin said: “God help me if we have reached a stage in this country where we make a federal case of denying you committed a crime. What guy, the evidence will scream out, would go to Congress and lie under oath, knowing what the consequences would be if he hadn’t done it? What man, except a crazy man, does that?”

Compared with his opening statement at last year’s mistrial, which was caused when prosecutors showed inadmissible evidence, Hardin spoke softer and in a markedly kinder tone. But the gist of his argument was similar.

Hardin called the case “a tale of two men” that pitted Clemens against Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer, who says that he gave Clemens steroids and human growth hormone.

Unlike at the last trial, Hardin — known for a folksy style that helps him connect with jurors — did not call McNamee a liar or a dope dealer. This time, he let the government play the tough guy.

Clemens, the government argued on Monday, is so deceitful and dishonest that he created a “tangled web of lies” and told “other lies to cover up his lies” regarding his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

It was unclear whether Hardin’s new tone was his idea, or whether the prosecution had forced his hand in trying a different approach. The government had objected to many parts of the opening statement Hardin gave last year. Prosecutors also had complained that Hardin disclosed personal information to potential jurors during the questioning process, including that he used to live in Washington, where he said he and his wife saw Roberta Flack sing.

“He’s very good at what he does,” Courtney Saleski, an assistant United States attorney, said to the judge before the trial. “But we think it’s inappropriate.”

On Tuesday, Hardin took on a new set of jurors in his thick southern drawl. He elicited some smiles from jurors when he clumsily searched through paperwork, saying, “I’m not acting like Columbo. I am Columbo,” referring to the long-running detective show. He raised his voice only when he showed a map of the United States that listed the people the government had spoken to and the places it had gone as it tried to corroborate McNamee’s claims.

“I’m not talking about the waste of government resources; that’s not my issue,” he said before describing how the government interviewed 187 witnesses, wrote 268 interview reports and involved 79 interview locations and 103 federal law enforcement officers.

Hardin suggested it would have been easy to manipulate some of the government’s evidence to favor the prosecution. He called syringes and cotton balls that the government said had traces of steroids and Clemens’s DNA “the most mixed-up hodgepodge of garbage you could ever imagine.” He continued, “It is ludicrous to ever try to suggest that this is evidence of anything in a criminal case.”

He saved his harshest words for McNamee, portraying him as someone out to gain celebrity by bringing down Clemens.

But when it came to Andy Pettitte, a star government witness, Hardin turned friendly. He said the defense welcomed his testimony because it “would be one of the most convincing of all as to why Roger Clemens did not use H.G.H.”

Pettitte is expected to testify that Clemens told him in 1999 that he used human growth hormone, and that Pettitte had used the drug himself.

Only the first witness — Phil Barnett, a former staff director to the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — took the stand before the court recessed until Monday.

Barnett, who is testifying to the legitimacy of Congress’s hearings regarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, was on the stand last year when the judge declared the mistrial.

Hardin did not have a chance to cross-examine him then. Next week, he will finally be able to do so.”

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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.