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Roger Clemens gets arraigned today; finally has a decent lawyer

Aug 30, 2010, 9:14 AM EDT

The only thing I was hoping wouldn’t happen while I was on vacation was Roger Clemens getting arraigned, skipping bail, going on the lam and taking a bunch of hostages, because that’s the kind of thing I would have had to blog about.  Thankfully that didn’t happen. He gets arraigned today, so any hostage-taking will occur while I’m on duty [crosses fingers].

As for the arraignment, don’t expect much. It will be short. The judge or the clerk or the prosecutor or someone will read the charges (or that could be waived). Roger will plead not guilty. Bail-skipping jokes aside, Clemens will almost certainly be officially released without bail. A trial date will be set, but it will almost certainly not be the real trial date due to whatever delays each side will later want/ask for/create. The biggest takeaway from all of this will be new pictures of Clemens wearing a suit walking in and then out of the courthouse. Frankly, I was getting tired of the old ones.

Actually, the biggest takeaway of today is the story in the Houston Chronicle about Clemens’ new lawyer, Michael Attanasio. Oh, Rusty Hardin is still around there and will likely be listed as lead counsel, but Attanasio is a San Diego-based guy with lots of criminal law experience and experience in dealing with steroids-in-baseball stuff.

There’s a gag order in place now so no one will be making statements anyhow, but you can bet that if Attanasio was in charge of Clemens’ defense a couple of years ago he wouldn’t have been all over “60 Minutes” and stuff back then and likely wouldn’t be in the mess he’s in now.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 30, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    Innocent or guilty, I am still just amazed at how deep of trouble this bullying stubborn idiot got himself into. Even if he has never done steroids(LOL), he could still be found guilty here because it isn’t even about that at this point. Even if he just made a simple mistake, or “misremembered”, while testifying, he’s in trouble. What a complete buffoon.

  2. Jonny5 - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    I can’t help but to feel sorry for this guy in a way. Yeah, I know he “tarnished the good name of baseball” in some way that still avoids me. And he “didn’t fess up” to being a user, which we all know he did because someone else who talked to someone else told us he did. The only thing he did bad for the game was using steroids to be better at it. Huh? That doesn’t sound too evil to me. The only people who should be mad, are clean players who were one upped by a PED user. Now here we are, RC gets indicted for lying under oath. Had it been an everyday user no one knew, this would have never gone this far. Should users be prosecuted to this extent? I’m not sure we as taxpayers want to pay millions of dollars going after every steroid user that gets busted, do we? If that’s not the case, which I know it isn’t, Clemens is getting a raw deal because of who he is more than by what he did. And that’s not really fair imo.

  3. Gary - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Yes, Hardin has no experience in criminal proceedings.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    Jonny, is Mark McGwire in any legal trouble? How about Sammy Sosa? No. Why? Because they aren’t stubborn pompous asses who had to stroll around the country and go on 60 minutes and claim how they did not do steroids. They also didn’t sue the people who accused them. They took their medicine in front of congress, looked like fools (whether by saying I only want to talk about the future, or by saying “No Hablo Ingles”) and moved on. McGwire is actually back in the game!!! Clemens could have done the same thing, but he chose to be a bully. That’s why I have a hard time saying he has gotten a raw deal.

  5. Jonny5 - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    My point is Chris, if these weren’t Major League players, there would have never been a federal investigation. Had the Feds actually gone after the small time users, and had some lie to them under oath, they would have never spent more millions of dollars hanging them for perjury. I could see if it’s the guy supplying it to the east coast or something, but a small time user? I think this is a case of political grandstanding on the coat tails of someone famous.
    Hey if he lied under oath, he has no one to blame but himself, I agree. My point is, I am not comfortable in the least bit with the federal gov’t spending this much time, effort, and money on prosecuting a small time steroid user. EVER.

  6. BC - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    Agreed! So they’ll spend a few million dollars just to put Clemens away for a year or so? Foolish. They have nothing better to do?

  7. donnie23 - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    Chris the fact that Clemens is in trouble and not those other guys doesn’t have anything to do with Clemens going on 60 minutes or “strolling around the country” telling people he didn’t take steroids. You can’t be prosecuted for perjury based on comments you make outside of the courtroom… we have the whole freedom of speech thing covering us there. The reason why he’s being prosecuted is that he (according to the Justice Department) lied under oath by saying all of contradictory testimony by Pettitte and McNamee was incorrect. Those other guys, while they did look like idiots, did nothing of the sort.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Donnie, my point was that Congress would probably have never called him there if he DIDN’T go on 60 minutes and blast one of their own, Mitchell, as badly as he did. If he had kept his big mouth shut, Congress would have had no reason to call him there. If they knew he would only be taking the 5th, they wouldn’t have called him. But he said “Bring it!!!” And now he’s in trouble. I also agree it is political grandstanding and they are after him because he is a big name. But he should have learned from McGwire and Sosa and kept his big mouth shut. And he did not.

  9. Detroit Michael - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    What was Michael Attanasio’ prior experience dealing with steroids in baseball?

  10. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    He counseled the Padres and possibly some other teams during the investigations that led to the Mitchell Report.

  11. Florida727 - Aug 30, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    how’s this for irony… Clemens is being arraigned for lying to politicians.
    I’m just glad our country’s not in debt, or there’s no natural disaster in the Gulf, and the economy and housing is running along smoothly, so this politicos have enough time to pursue this career criminal who clearly threatens our national security.

  12. keith - Aug 30, 2010 at 2:00 PM

    Yes Rusty Hardin has criminal experience. He was an assistant DA in Harris County (Capital punishment mecca for US) for 15 years and tried a number of cases as a prosecutor.

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