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Roger Clemens Trial

Roger Clemens Trial Summary

On Wednesday, July 6th, the world of court followers switched from Casey Anthony to Roger Clemens, as jury selection started in his perjury trial. On August 19, 2010 a grand jury indicted Roger Clemens on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making a false statement, and two counts of perjury.

The charges relate to his testimony in a deposition on February 5, 2008 taken by Congressional lawyers, who wanted information about drug culture in major league baseball and his testimony before Congress (the House Government Reform Committee) on February 13, 2008. Before he even testified, Clemens was warned by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings: “I said, ‘If you tell the truth, you’ll be fine. If not, you’re gonna have big problems.'” Even the lawyers advised him he did not have to testify at the level he did, so arguably Roger Clemens created this situation.

Jury selection is ongoing and could last about a week. The judge has already been controversial, as he complained that issues involved would cost money that the government doesn’t have as it is going broke and insinuated it was a frivolous case. Prosecutors listed nearly 100 people who could be part of their case either by mention, by deposition or on the witness stand, including players Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, Jason Grimsley, Jorge Posada, David Segui, Andy Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and Mike Stanton. Other friends and, of course fromer trainers, will also appear.

The Obstruction of Congress charge covers his numerous denials, his comments about Andy Pettite “misremembering” Clemens’ prior comments, and a variety of other comments Clemens made in regards to his alleged discussion and knowledge of Performance Enhancing Drugs (or PED’s).

Obstruction of Congress is a violation of Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Sections 1505.

Under Section 1505:

Whoever, with intent to avoid, evade, prevent, or obstruct compliance, in whole or in part, with any civil investigative demand duly and properly made under the Antitrust Civil Process Act, willfully withholds, misrepresents, removes from any place, conceals, covers up, destroys, mutilates, alters, or by other means falsifies any documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or oral testimony, which is the subject of such demand; or attempts to do so or solicits another to do so ….. Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years[.]

Other counts concern his possible lies regarding taking Human Growth Hormone (or HGH) and steroids, related to his infamous battle of words between him and trainer, Brian McNamee. Clemens said McNamee injected him with B-12 and not a PED.

This violates Title 18 of the US Code, Sections 1001(a)(2) and (c)(2). Subsection (a)(2) states:

Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully …. makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation … shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years.

The final two counts are for perjury and relate to Clemens’ denying he received steroids and HGH from McNamee.

This violates Title 18, Section 1621(1), which states:

Whoever having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true … is guilty of perjury and shall, except as otherwise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years.

If found guilty on all six counts, he faces a maximum of thirty years in prison and up to a $1.5 million fine. However Federal Sentencing Guidelines would limit time to approximately 21 months. However, a likely sentence would be less than that. The prosecution and trial is estimated to cost taxpayers $1 million.

His Hall of Fame opportunity may also fall. Saturday, July 9, 2011