Roger Clemens acquitted of all charges

June 18, 2012

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

“By Ann E. Marimow and Del Quentin Wilber

Legendary pitcher Roger Clemens was found not guilty Monday of all charges in the government’s perjury case against him.

Over seven weeks of testimony in the case against Clemens, jurors heard from more than 40 witnesses, including former major league ballplayers, a housekeeper, the general manager of the New York Yankees and the wife of the star pitcher. The trial, initially anticipated to last four to six weeks, was at times slow going, with two jurors dismissed for sleeping on the job.

Deliberations began Tuesday, but jurors were off on Thursday and Friday.

The baseball legend was on trial for a second time, charged with six counts of perjury, making false statements and obstructing Congress for denying in 2008 that he had ever taken steroids or human growth hormone. A House panel was following up on a 2007 report by former senator George Mitchell that connected dozens of ballplayers, including Clemens, to performance-enhancing drugs.

Clemens told Congressional staffers and lawmakers in a nationally televised hearing that his former strength coach Brian McNamee had injected him with liquid vitamin B 12 and the painkiller lidocaine – not steroids or human growth hormone. But McNamee told the same House committee that he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with the banned substances on several occasions in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

Defense attorneys portrayed Clemens as a man who was unfairly pursued by a huge team of investigators and prosecutors for four and a half years. Despite more than 200 interviews and the work of more than 90 federal agents, Clemens’s attorney emphasized that McNamee, a man with a troubled past, was the only person to testify to firsthand knowledge of the ballplayer’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens’s highly decorated 24-year career was the result of hard work and discipline, not drugs, his lawyers said.

Prosecutors responded that it was unremarkable to find just one witness to what they described as Clemens’s “dirty little secret.” Government’s lawyers noted that not one of the defense’s witnesses had testified to seeing McNamee inject Clemens with vitamin B-12 or lidocaine. And they put on the stand several athletic trainers and team doctors who testified that McNamee would not have had access or the authority to inject the star pitcher with such substances in their team clubhouses.

The defense team spent considerable time attacking McNamee’s credibility, at one point putting his estranged wife on the witness stand to contradict the former strength coach’s testimony about why he kept needles, cotton balls and other medical waste from the alleged injections. The former strength coach admitted to having exaggerated, changed his story and lied to authorities in a 2001 criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault.

But prosecutors said McNamee had little incentive to turn on his former employer whose cachet helped McNamee’s own business as a personal trainer. McNamee only decided to turn over the medical waste — stored in a MillerLite can and FedEx box, he said — after Clemens allowed a taped conversation that mentioned McNamee’s sick child to be aired on national television.

Perhaps the most dramatic moment of the trial came when Clemens’s former teammate and friend, Andy Pettitte, backed away from a critical element of the prosecution’s case. Pettitte, a star pitcher in his own right, initially told jurors that Clemens confided in him in 1999 or 2000 about using HGH to help with recovery. Pettitte had earlier told Congressional investigators the same story. But on cross-examination, Pettitte agreed with one of Clemens’s attorneys, Michael Attanasio, that there was a 50/50 chance he had misheard his friend.

Even before the trial began, many of the Washingtonians called to the Prettyman Courthouse for jury duty questioned the wisdom of the government investigating the use of performance-enhancing drugs in big league baseball. In interviews with the judge, many prospective jurors — including some selected for the panel — said that Congress should have been spending its time on weightier matters that affected more people.

In reaching a verdict, the panel of eight women and four men had to decide whether Clemens’s answers to questions from Congressional investigators and lawmakers were “material” or relevant to the work of committee “as distinguished from unimportant or trivial facts,” according to the lengthy jury instructions.

To find Clemens guilty of the obstruction charge, for instance, jurors had to unanimously agree that the all-star pitcher made at least one of 13 allegedly false or misleading statements on subjects including his use of vitamin B-12 and the circumstances of his wife’s injection of human growth hormone.

In July, during the pitcher’s first trial on the same charges, Walton declared a mistrial after just two days of testimony. But the judge subsequently decided not to dismiss the charges, allowing this year’s trial to proceed.”

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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.


An aggressive, all-out defense

June 6, 2012

ESPN on June 6, 2012 released the following:

“By Lester Munson

WASHINGTON — It would be easy for Roger Clemens and his legal team to poke a few holes in the evidence against him and then argue to the jury that federal prosecutors have failed to meet the Constitution’s requirement of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If they managed to convince one or two jurors, they could hope for a deadlock in the jury’s deliberations and a mistrial and a technical victory.

That is not what they are doing. As they presented their 14th witness on Tuesday, they were in the middle of a massive effort that seeks nothing less than the total destruction of the government’s effort and a not-guilty-on-all-counts verdict that will vindicate Clemens and begin to restore his legacy as one of baseball’s greatest pitchers.

It’s a highly unusual strategy. There was enough doubt about the government’s evidence after the four-day cross-examination of the prosecutors’ star witness, Brian McNamee, that many defense lawyers would have concluded their efforts and relied on the jury to find the necessary “reasonable doubt.” McNamee confessed to numerous lies, mistakes and exaggerations, the kinds of admissions that most defense lawyers agree are enough to persuade one or more dubious jurors to hold out for a not guilty verdict.

But lead Clemens attorney Rusty Hardin’s cross-examination of McNamee was only the beginning, not the end, of the defense effort.

Relying on a high school teammate, retired ballplayers, expert witnesses, a housekeeper, two masseuses, a broadcaster, and even an FBI agent, Hardin is offering answers to every element of the government’s charges against Clemens. And there is more to come. Hardin says he’ll finish his presentation of as many as 21 witnesses on Friday, and when he is done, it promises be an impressive accumulation of evidence.

Here’s a look at how the Clemens lawyers have responded so far to the government’s charges that Clemens lied to Congress when he denied that he had ever used steroids or HGH.

At the center of the government’s case is a trove of syringes, cotton balls, vials, and ampoules that McNamee claims he used to inject Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs. McNamee gathered the physical evidence after injecting Clemens in August 2001, stored it in a beer can and a FedEx box in his house, and finally turned it in to the government in January 2008. The prosecutors used an FBI expert and a forensic scientist from a private lab to show that Clemens’ DNA was present on some of the materials.

On Tuesday afternoon, Bruce Goldberger, a Ph.D. forensic toxicologist who is the founder and director of a lab at the University of Florida, explained to the jury that the physical evidence did not meet the standards that apply to the collection and preservation of physical evidence.

Goldberger’s testimony came after a vigorous and extended argument from Asst. U.S. Attorney Daniel Butler, who insisted to U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton that Goldberger was not qualified to offer expertise on the collection of evidence and was qualified only to examine substances (blood, urine, drugs) in his laboratory. Clearly impressed with Goldberger and his knowledge of evidence collection, Walton allowed Hardin to present the expert to the jury.

Commingling the cotton balls, the syringes, and the other materials in what may have been a damp beer can, Goldberger said, leads to the possibility of “cross-contamination” and precludes the connection of any of the materials to anyone.

Speaking calmly and persuasively in what was the most powerful testimony in the entire trial, Goldberger told the jury that “the possibility of contamination leads to unreliable laboratory conclusions” and “there must be certainty beyond a reasonable doubt before we can make the scientific connection” between the material and an individual.

In the course of Goldberger’s testimony, the language of the trial was transformed with words like “manipulation” and “fabrication” and “garbage” suddenly being used in connection with materials the prosecutors had described as “medical waste.”

Goldberger told the jury that the material was doubly suspicious because it had been “collected and preserved by the accuser.” Hardin was soon referring to McNamee as the “accuser-collector.”

Butler’s cross-examination of Goldberger did not help as he quarreled with Goldberger about his qualifications and picked at him with questions about the “back story” of a piece of evidence. Butler succeeded only in allowing Hardin to come back with a question that prompted Goldberger to conclude that the physical evidence was the worst Goldberger had seen in 30 years of working with trial evidence.

On another central issue in the trial, Hardin has managed to suggest something that seemed totally unlikely ballplayers’ use injections of Vitamin B12 the way most of us use aspirin or Tylenol. Clemens, in what once seemed to be a weak response to allegations that he had been injected with steroids, claimed that the injections were B12.

Former pitcher Mike Boddicker told the jury that B12 injections were common during his 13 years in the big leagues and that he once walked into the Boston Red Sox training room and was surprised to see Clemens with his pants down being injected in the buttocks with B12. Boddicker, another charming and engaging witness for the defense, told the jury that he could see “B12” on the vial on the training table.

Like the other MLB players that Hardin and Clemens have presented, Boddicker seemed to capture the attention of the jury with his stories that he survived in the big leagues for 13 years with an 84-mph fastball and that he was once traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Red Sox for Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling.

Prosecutor Steven Durham tried to cross-examine Boddicker by raising the well-known, unwritten law of an MLB clubhouse that what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse. It was supposed to show that Boddicker would skew his testimony to help Clemens. But, instead, it opened the door for Hardin to return with Boddicker’s report that Clemens would frequently leave the clubhouse in uniform to visit children in Boston hospitals and that he insisted that his teammates tell no one, especially media, about it.

The enormous Clemens-Hardin effort clearly has the prosecutors scrambling. In his attempt to prepare for Goldberger’s testimony, Butler was on the phone with Goldberger on Tuesday morning, only hours before Goldberger appeared before the jury. To prepare for Boddicker’s testimony, the prosecutors sent an FBI agent to interview him on Sunday before his Tuesday appearance.

The defense strategy is proactive, and it is aggressive. It fits what we know of the Clemens way of doing things. It’s working now, but as another great ballplayer said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.””

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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.


Witness in Clemens trial says was told Clemens used drug

May 29, 2012

Fox News on May 29, 2012 released the following:

Reuters

“Ex-trainer Brian McNamee, who says he injected performance-enhancing drugs into former pitching ace Roger Clemens, told a client that Clemens had used human growth hormone to recover more quickly from injuries and strains, the client testified on Tuesday.

Prosecution witness Anthony Corso’s testimony bolsters that of McNamee, a former strength and conditioning coach, whose allegations that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone have been the core of the government’s case.

Federal prosecutors claim the retired pitching star lied to a congressional panel when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

“Mr McNamee had mentioned that Mr. Clemens was one of the athletes that he was getting positive results from him being able to push himself to limits … using the medication to recover,” Corso, 49, testified.

Clemens’ lawyers sought to cast doubt on Corso’s testimony when the witness revealed he could not recall whether McNamee had mentioned Clemens during a conversation about saving syringes from players using the drugs.

Corso testified that McNamee had told him in or around 2005 that the trainer had saved syringes from players to avoid getting “thrown under the bus” should the drug usage be discovered but said McNamee had not named Clemens as one of those players.

According to prosecutors, Corso had told a grand jury in 2010 that McNamee claimed the syringes had been “used on Roger.”

“The two answers are different. So would it be a fair testimony … that you made a mistake?” Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin asked.

“Yes,” Corso said.

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

McNamee has said that he saved medical waste from a 2001 injection of anabolic steroids into Clemens and turned the evidence in to authorities in 2008.

Clemens, 49, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner as best pitcher, is being tried for a second time on federal charges of lying in 2008 to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which was investigating drug use in Major League Baseball. His first trial ended last year in a mistrial.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

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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 come with questions, and get to ask them

May 15, 2012

The Washington Post on May 14, 2012 released the following:

“By Del Quentin Wilber and Ann E. Marimow,

Jurors wondered whether key evidence might have been planted and if a former drug dealer regretted having “destroyed people’s lives.” And at least one wanted more testimony about a heated discussion that wasn’t fully explored in court.

Those are the types of questions that might pop into the head of a juror during any criminal trial. And that is usually where those questions remain, locked away until jurors are finally permitted to discuss the case during their deliberations.

But in the perjury prosecution of Roger Clemens, jurors have been asking those very questions in court — providing a rare and real-time window into the thought process of the 15 District residents sitting in judgment of one of baseball’s biggest legends. The questions, reviewed by the presiding federal judge before being posed to witnesses, have revealed that at least some jurors seem skeptical of the prosecution and want to know more about off-limits testimony.

The federal judge, Reggie B. Walton, has long advocated engaging jurors more directly in trials by letting them ask questions, and he has told fellow judges that the practice ensures jurors are attentive and properly understand key testimony.

Walton, who has lectured on the topic at the National Judicial College, permitted such questions during another big trial — that of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby in 2007, a decision that was later hailed as a “terrific idea” by the case’s initially doubtful prosecutor.

In federal court, judges have the authority to allow jurors to query witnesses, though the practice remains uncommon. In recent years, the procedure has gained traction in academic circles and has been occurring with more frequency in state courts, legal experts say.

“The old view of jurors is that they are blank slates,” said Shari Seidman Diamond, a professor at the Northwestern University School of Law. “But they are decision-makers, trying to figure out what is going on. They are trying things out. Questions help them process. This has all kinds of benefits.”

In the Clemens trial, the questioning has worked this way:

After each witness has finished testifying, Walton asks the jury if it has any questions. The 12 jurors and three alternates — one juror has already been excused, for sleeping — represent a broad cross-section of District residents. Among them are a Giant food clerk, a retired political science professor, a former ANC commissioner, a WMATA security officer and a Treasury Department official.

Sometimes jurors submit questions on note cards, sometimes they don’t. Walton then discusses the questions with prosecutors and defense lawyers during a private discussion at the bench, where either side can object to the query. Walton does not pose a question if he feels it is not legally permissible.

This account is based on transcripts of those private bench conferences:

So far, the jurors’ questions indicate that some seem uneasy with aspects of the government’s case. After federal agent Jeff Novitzky testified two weeks ago, for example, a juror asked about the authenticity of evidence that Clemens’s former strength coach, Brian McNamee, turned over to authorities in 2008. The strength coach claims to have injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone (HGH) and saved syringes and cotton balls in a crumpled beer can. Prosecutors say scientists have linked Clemens’s DNA and steroids to one syringe found in the can.

“Could this evidence be planted evidence?” one juror wanted to know.

“McNamee had access to [Clemens’s] blood, plus using cotton balls with tissues to wipe it clean, correct?” the juror continued.

“He also had access to needles, is that correct?”

“Is this evidence really conclusive?”

After reading the questions to prosecutors and defense lawyers, Walton said “that’s for them to decide,” meaning the jurors.

“I am not sure any of those questions are appropriate for this particular witness,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Durham.

Walton sided with Durham and did not ask the questions.

Jurors also wanted to hear more from Andy Pettitte, a former teammate and close friend of Clemens’s who had been considered a key prosecution witness. The left-handed pitcher, who is making a comeback this season after having retired, told jurors that Clemens confided in him during a workout in 1999 or 2000 that he had taken HGH. But on cross-examination, he agreed with a defense attorney that there was a “fifty-fifty” chance he had misheard what Clemens had told him.

During questioning by a prosecutor, Pettitte briefly mentioned that he approached McNamee after Clemens’s revelation and the strength coach got upset. A prosecutor quickly stopped Pettitte from going any further because such testimony would violate hearsay rules.

A juror clearly picked up on the exchange and wanted to know, “When you talked with McNamee about HGH, he got upset. Can you speak about that incident?”

Walton did not ask the question, telling attorneys that he did not “understand the rationale how somehow McNamee’s reaction to what Pettitte tells him helps the jury.”

McNamee took the stand on Monday, and jurors could get the chance to ask the star prosecution witness questions by as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.

Last week, jurors sought clarity from the trial’s most colorful witness, Kirk Radomski, a former steroid supplier who testified in a thick Bronx accent that he sold the drugs to many ballplayers and to McNamee. Jurors wanted to know about a torn address label, among other matters.

In 2008, three years after federal agents raided his home, Radomski found several mailing slips and photographs in an envelope under a television in his bedroom that had been missed in the original search. One of those slips, which was torn and did not include tracking numbers, was addressed to “B. McNamee” at Clemens’ home in the Houston area. Radomski testified that the label belonged to a package of HGH and needles that he sent to McNamee.

A juror wanted to ask Radomski a follow-up question about how he had discovered the labels. And another wanted to know if Radomski had turned over other such slips to authorities in recent years. Walton chose to pose both queries to the former dealer.

Other jurors wanted to know if it was “common for strength and conditioning coaches to deliver steroids or HGH to athletes,” whether Radomski had discussed the case with prosecutors during a recess and how he felt about having “destroyed people’s lives by your actions.”

And, finally, a juror wanted to ask Radomski if he and McNamee had ever discussed Clemens. Michael Attanasio, one of Clemens’s attorneys, told Walton that he thought he had already asked that very question.

“I thought he said no,” Walton said.

“He did.”

“That’s why questions are good,” Walton said, “because sometimes jurors don’t hear it.””

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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.


McNamee testifies he gave Clemens steroids in 1998

May 14, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

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 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:

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.


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:

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.


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.


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

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

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

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


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.