Clemens trial hears FBI witness describe handling of needles

May 8, 2012

MySanAntonio.com on May 7, 2012 released the following:

“By Stewart M. Powell and Regina Garcia Cano

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Monday tediously chronicled the shipment, handling and testing of medical waste allegedly containing DNA from former pitcher Roger Clemens in a bid to show he used performance-enhancing drugs before allegedly lying about it to Congress.

Though even U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton urged government lawyers to speed it up, federal prosecutor Steve Durham methodically questioned FBI special agent John Longmire to describe the treatment of needles, cotton balls and vials allegedly used by Brian McNamee to inject the legendary pitcher with the controversial substances.

Prosecutors are banking that subsequent testimony by lab technicians will establish that medical waste retained by McNamee for more than seven years contains both Clemens’ DNA and outlawed performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.

Clemens, 49, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, has not been charged with using performance-enhancing medications that are banned without a doctor’s prescription. But prosecutors are trying to use the medical waste and McNamee’s expected testimony as early as today to show that Clemens used the medications — a first step in the prosecution’s effort to prove that Clemens had lied to Congress in 2008 when he denied using anabolic steroids or human growth hormone.

Longmire’s detailed accounting for the medical waste Monday focused on at least three needles, one syringe, two cotton swabs, two cotton balls, gauze pad and at least two sheets of Kleenex. Some of the waste had been stored by McNamee in an empty Miller Lite beer can for at least seven years; other items of the waste had been loosely stored before McNamee turned all of the medical waste over to federal authorities in January 2008.

Prosecutors contend the medical waste stems from McNamee injecting Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs on multiple occasions between 1998 and 2001 before players were subjected to mandatory random drug testing.

Clemens’ defense team sought to undermine the FBI agent’s testimony with repeated questions about just how carefully agents handled individual items of medical waste.

“During the time you had custody of the evidence you didn’t do anything untoward to that evidence?” defense lawyer Michael Attanasio asked Longmire. The FBI agent said he had not.

Attanasio sought to use Longmire’s testimony to call into question McNamee’s handling of the forensic evidence before he turned it over to federal authorities.

“Did you ever seal medical waste in an open container like a beer can?” Attanasio asked.

Longmire replied: “I have not done that. That is not what they trained us to do.”

Longmire acknowledged that some items were only tested by the FBI lab while others also were tested by two private independent medical labs in California.”

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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 should not be surprised by Pettitte admission, attorneys say

May 3, 2012

The Washington Post on May 3, 2012 released the following:

“By Ann E. Marimow and Del Quentin Wilber

The government lawyers prosecuting former baseball star Roger Clemens should not have been surprised by Andy Pettitte’s admission Wednesday that he may have misheard his former teammate and friend tell him that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs, according to former federal prosecutors.

In preparation for taking the witness stand, former prosecutors said the government team likely would have asked Pettitte how sure he was of his recollection of the conversation with Clemens during a workout at the pitcher’s home gym in 1999 or 2000.

Until Wednesday, Pettitte generally had not wavered from his assertion that Clemens confided in him about his use of HGH. He repeated that testimony Tuesday, which was critical to the government’s case that Clemens lied to Congress in 2008 when he denied using the banned substances.

But Pettitte had earlier expressed some doubt about his memory of the conversation to congressional investigators.

“Roger told me that he didn’t take it, and I misunderstood him. I took it for that, that I misunderstood him” in 1999 or 2000, he told them in 2008.

Defense lawyer Michael Attanasio apparently saw an opening, and pressed Pettitte on it Wednesday.

That prosecutors from the District’s U.S. Attorney’s Office did not specifically revisit Pettitte’s conflicting account under cross-examination Wednesday when they had a chance suggests that they didn’t want to dig a deeper hole, some attorneys say.

“They didn’t want to go there for fear of getting worse answers,” said Andrew White, a former federal prosecutor, “For fear that Pettitte isn’t going to go out of his way to harm his friend.”

Former federal prosecutors agreed that Pettitte’s pullback was a big boost to the defense team, but varied in their assessments of how much of a problem that testimony would be for the government.

Prosecutors are laying the groundwork for the testimony of former strength coach Brian McNamee, who is expected to testify that he injected Clemens with steroids and HGH on several occasions.

Michael Volkov, another former federal prosecutor, cautioned that Pettitte’s uncertainty is “not devastating.”

The case, he said, still hinges on what the jury thinks of McNamee and whether his story is backed up by the evidence, including needles that prosecutors have said contains Clemens’s DNA and traces of performance-enhancing drugs.

On the other hand, White said that Pettitte’s admission adds credibility to Clemens’s reaction to a separate conversation in 2005. At a time when performance-enhancing drugs were in the news, Pettitte asked Clemens how he would handle media questions about his use of steroids. Pettitte said Clemens responded, “What are you talking about?”

“This sets up a major league positive scenario for the defense,” White said, “and a possible basis for the misunderstanding that Pettitte now acknowledges he might have had.””

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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: 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

————————————————————–

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.