News Guide: Key details in Clemens perjury trial

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

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

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

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

Some key data and figures in the case:

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CHARGES:

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

POSSIBLE PENALTIES:

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

WITNESSES

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

JURY SELECTION:

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

THUMBNAILS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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

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

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


Feds bulk up to retry Clemens over drug testimony

April 16, 2012

Associated Press on April 16, 2012 released the following:

“By FREDERIC J. FROMMER

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department, embarrassed by blundering into a mistrial of Roger Clemens last year, has added more prosecutors as it tries again to convict the famed pitcher of lying to Congress when he said he never used performance-enhancing drugs.

Jury selection in the new trial begins Monday.

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

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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.


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.


Roger Clemens’ Federal Criminal Case Update

August 20, 2011
Roger Clemens

Main Justice on August 19, 2011 released the following:

Prosecutors Say Clemens Trying To Gain From Unintended Mistakes

Barring a retrial for Roger Clemens would hand the former baseball star “an unwarranted windfall” from inadvertent mistakes made during the first case against him, federal prosecutors argued in a brief filed Friday.

The brief came in response to a motion filed by Clemens’ attorneys seeking to prevent a retrial by arguing the government intentionally violated rules imposed by District Judge Reggie Walton, who declared a mistrial July 14 after prosecutors played a video that contained evidence Walton had previously ruled inadmissible.

That evidence included testimony from the wife of former pitcher Andy Pettitte, which suggested that Clemens had talked with Pettitte about using steroids. The video shown by prosecutors – a recording of Clemens’ 2008 testimony before Congress – showed Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) making a reference to the conversation.

The video was strike two for the prosecution, which had also alluded to the conversation during opening statements.

But in their motion, Justice Department attorneys said the video had already been prepared when Walton made his ruling on admissibility, and that they hadn’t looked to see whether a reference might be buried in a question from the congressman.

“The government’s error was a mistake, not misconduct, and certainly not misconduct intended to provoke a mistrial,” prosecutors wrote. “As government counsel informed this court when the video clip mistake occurred: ‘There was no intention to run afoul of any court ruling.'”

A motion hearing on the issue is scheduled for Sept. 2.”

Attached is Roger Clemens’ filing on 7/29/2011 with its exhibits:

Attached is the government’s response on 8/19/2011:

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 extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

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

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Judge Weighs Mistrial in Clemens Case

July 14, 2011

The Wall Street Journal on July 14, 2011 released the following:

“By Devlin Barrett

The judge in the Roger Clemens trial said Thursday he will probably have to declare a mistrial after jurors improperly heard details that he had previously ruled were inadmissible.

“I can’t in good faith leave this case in a situation where a man’s liberty is at risk when the government should have taken steps to ensure that we were not in this situation,’’ said Judge Reggie Walton, who is overseeing the trial at federal court in Washington, D.C. “I don’t see how I can unring the bell.’’

Clemens, considered one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, is on trial for allegedly lying to lawmakers when he repeatedly claimed under oath in 2008 that he had not used steroids or human growth hormone. He faces a possible prison sentence if convicted.

The second day of testimony came to a grinding halt Thursday morning after prosecutors played tape of Clemens being questioned by a member of Congress. In the video shown to the jury, a lawmaker asks Clemens about statements made by Laura Pettitte, the wife of Andy Pettitte, a friend and former teammate of Clemens on the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.

The judge had previously ruled that the jurors would not be told that Ms. Pettitte had confirmed her husband’s account that Clemens once admitted using human growth hormone. She told investigators that her husband told her about that conversation shortly after it happened in 1999 or 2000.

The judge ruled the conversation with the wife was hearsay, and not admissible. Yet the video shown to the jury showed a mention of that statement by Laura Pettitte.

“I think a first year law student would know that you can’t bolster the credibility of a witness with clearly inadmissible evidence,’’ Judge Walton told prosecutors on Thursday. “There must be a total misunderstanding on the government’s part,’’ said the judge. “I thought I had made it perfectly clear.’’”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

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

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

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Opening Statements Set for Roger Clemens Perjury Trial

July 13, 2011

CNN on July 13, 2011 released the following:

“(CNN) — Opening statements are set to begin Wednesday in the perjury trial of former major league baseball player Roger Clemens.

On Tuesday, a jury of 10 women and two men — with four alternates — was seated for the federal trial in Washington, which is expected to last four to six weeks.

Clemens is facing charges of perjury, making false statements and obstruction of Congress about his alleged use of steroids and human growth hormone. The former all-star pitcher testified under oath in 2008 that he never used illegal performance-enhancing substances during his 23-year career.

The prosecution is expected to call several noteworthy figures to testify to bolster its case against the seven-time Cy Young award winner

Among those the prosecution expects to testify are former major league baseball players Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco and Andy Pettitte. The government also plans to call New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to testify.

If convicted, Clemens could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine.

Clemens has never tested positive for drug use, but his name was among the 86 that appeared in a report by former Sen. George Mitchell. The 400-page report listed players who were said to have used drugs to improve their performance on the field.

Before the drug allegations against Clemens arose, he was seen as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Now, as one of several players of the “steroid era,” his status for induction is seen as being in doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

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

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

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William Roger Clemens Jury Selection Update

July 7, 2011

The Associated Press (AP) on July 7, 2011 released the following:

“Clemens not getting a lot of love from jury pool

By NEDRA PICKLER and MARK SHERMAN
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — One-time baseball superstar Roger Clemens is in the midst of a tedious and humbling process that is one of the most important parts of his trial on charges of lying about drug use – selecting the jury members who will decide his fate.

So far the pitching great hasn’t gotten a lot of love from the line of Washingtonians who have been questioned about their fitness to serve on his trial, expected to last into August. There were some sports fans in the group, but most said they don’t know much about him.

“If he were sitting there, I would not know who he was,” one woman said, as Clemens sat facing her about 15 feet away.

Among those who said she follows baseball was a retired writer and lawyer who acknowledged Thursday that she wants to be a juror.

“I would like to be on this jury because I think I can keep people focused,” said the woman, who called herself a “die-hard” Washington Nationals fan.

Another person who said he knew a lot about Clemens and his case was 37-year-old Omari Bradley. The former personal trainer and Little League coach said he considers himself a fair person. But Bradley said he had to admit he would have a hard time finding Clemens not guilty after all he’s heard in the media about how the seven-time Cy Young Award winner should just admit he used steroids. The judge excused Bradley.

Clemens steadfastly denies the allegations made by his former trainer, who says he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs repeatedly as the pitcher maintained a blinding throwing speed into middle age. Clemens says the trainer, Brian McNamee, is a liar who fabricated evidence against him. McNamee gave federal agents their most important physical evidence in the case – needles and gauze the trainer said he used to inject the star athlete.

Clemens is accused of lying under oath to the House Government Reform Committee in 2008 when he denied ever using steroids or human growth hormone. He faces six felony counts of perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress.

Prosecutors and the defense read the jury pool a list of people who may be called as witnesses or mentioned at the trial. The list included some of the biggest names in baseball, including others who have been at the center of the steroid scandal, such as Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Jose Canseco. The list also included baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman, former Yankees manager Joe Torre, former players’ union director Donald Fehr and several other officials and teammates from the four major league teams Clemens played for.

Jurors were asked about their knowledge of those figures as well as their feelings about the case, baseball, Congress and principles of criminal law. They were asked whether they had scientific training, played organized sports or were baseball fans. One public relations consultant was not. “I can’t imagine spending money to watch a sport where guys scratch themselves and spit a lot,” she said, drawing a smile from Clemens, who otherwise sat expressionless through most of the proceedings.

The woman said she could still be fair to Clemens, quipping that she doesn’t consider spitting and scratching crimes. She was qualified to serve along with six others so far. In addition to Bradley, others excused were a woman with medical issues and another who said she couldn’t be gone from work for the duration of the trial.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said he hopes to wrap up jury selection Tuesday morning.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

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

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

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