Aug 20, 2010, 9:59 AM EST
Here’s Roger Clemens’ ace lawyer, Rusty Hardin, speaking about his client’s indictment:
He’s right about reason being thrown out the window when it comes to baseball. People freak the hell out about steroids and have been doing so since at least 2002, when Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti began to speak up about it all.
I wish some perspective was maintained, but I know that’s a vain wish.
But you know what? It was Rusty Hardin’s job to assess all of this in late 2007 and early 2008. To realize how combustible the Mitchell Report and its fallout was and would continue to be and to advise his client to proceed in a manner which limited his legal risk. It may not be fair that Congress and the press and the public was going crazy, but it wasn’t Hardin’s job to change their minds about the fairness of it all. It was his job to keep his client out of legal trouble and he failed miserably in that regard.
At some point — a point before Clemens went on 60 Minutes and sued Brian McNamee and held a big silly press conference — Hardin should have realized that playing PR like Clemens was doing was a dangerous, dangerous game. This is not hindsight. I don’t have the fraction of the legal skills or experience of Rusty Hardin and I saw it and was talking about it at the time (see here, here and here). Hardin should have seen it too and should have impressed upon Clemens that discretion, in this instance, was the better part of valor. This he did not do.
At the end of the above video, Hardin talks about convincing the public or public opinion or whatever. Even now, more than two years later, he doesn’t seem to understand that shaping what the public thinks is not his job. That’s a job for publicists. Hardin was and his Clemens’ lawyer, and he should have done everything he could have to avoid his client getting hauled before a Congressional committee in the first place. He failed at that job, and in this regard he’s continuing to fail.
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