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Roger Clemens goes on trial this week

Jul 5, 2011, 8:22 AM EDT

Roger Clemens AP

The opening statements and all of the pomp and circumstance will begin Wednesday, but the Roger Clemens perjury trial started Tuesday with evidentiary motions and the like.  Clemens is supposed to be at the courthouse in Washington, D.C. as well, so we’ll get our de riguer look at him wearing some bad suit, flanked by his lawyers and walking into the building. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about?

We’ve talked a lot about the Clemens trial recently, and given our recent experience with Barry Bonds, we all have a good idea about how this stuff is gonna work, so I’ll spare you a detailed preview. But here’s the short version:

  • Clemens is accused of lying to Congress when he said he never took performance enhancing drugs;
  • His statements to that effect were far more stark and certain than those Barry Bonds made at his grand jury testimony;
  • Unlike Bonds, there are witnesses who will come forward to say that Clemens is flat lying (his former trainer, Brian McNamee) or at least suggest that his story is implausible, even if they don’t have direct knowledge of Clemens’ drug use itself (Andy Pettitte); and
  • Unlike the Bonds case, where no one disputed Bonds’ actual use of PEDs as opposed to his knowing use, forensic evidence that directly links Clemens to PEDs will be highly relevant here, particularly those syringes that Brian McNamee saved and handed over to the feds, and which allegedly contain some Clemens DNA (and which the defense, of course, will attack as corrupted and/or phony).

Over at the Daily News, Nathaniel Vinton has his own preview, focusing on one of the other major differences between the Bonds case and the Clemens case: the lead investigator. Vinton introduces us to FBI agent John Longmire, who led the investigation into Clemens. Unlike Bonds investigator Jeff Novitzky, Longmire does not seem like someone who has sought out media attention and does not see PED cases as his ticket to fame.

My takeaway on that is that: while we can still say that PED prosecutions are a questionable use of government resources, this case is a different beast than the Bonds case. No one made it a career priority to get Roger Clemens.  He did most of this to himself and, at some point, the government simply can’t ignore it when it is being poked as much as Roger Clemens and his legal team poked it.

  1. florida727 - Jul 5, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    Guilty or not… using PEDs or not… I just find it ironic that Clemens is being prosecuted for lying to politicians. How about we prosecute politicians that lie to private citizens? Never mind. The courts are already overburdened and the jails are already overcrowded.

    • Glenn - Jul 5, 2011 at 10:27 AM

      We won’t vote for a politician unless they lie and then we hate them for being liars. We share some blame for the system.

    • Old Gator - Jul 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      727: You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth.

  2. clownsfan - Jul 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    Clemens just should’ve retired. Then all he had to do, when it came up, was deny deny deny. I’m not saying it’s right but it would’ve been alot easier.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Jul 5, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    What an incredible waste on something the government never should have been involved with in the first place.

    • purdueman - Jul 5, 2011 at 10:39 AM

      It’s not at all a waste of time or money, because Congress can’t allow a precedent to be set that any citizen can simply lie after being subpoenaed and placed under oath. The government allows that to happen without doing anything about it would eventually lead to anarchy.

      Roger, for all you do, here’s hoping and wishing that you get the hangin’ judge!

      • paperlions - Jul 5, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        ….and if you are going to lie to Congress, at least do it in a way that doesn’t insult the intelligence of everyone in the room. His performance was embarrassing. There was simply no way to listen to him and not know he was lying.

      • clydeserra - Jul 5, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        and he kept doubling down.

      • purdueman - Jul 5, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        How do you know that Roger is lying? Answer: His lips are moving! At least he didn’t wag his finger or openly thumb his nose at Congress, but when it comes to the “I double dog dare ya” stare, he’s got that one down pat!

        Sure, Mc Guire’s silly soap box about “I’m not here to talk about the past”, was equally damning, but at least he didn’t flat out LIE to Congress… he merely in essence took the 5th (and then likely drank one or two afterwards!).

      • Old Gator - Jul 5, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        I really preferred Casey Stengel’s testimony to congress – and then the Mick following up by testifying that he agreed with everything Casey said.

        Smart boy, that Mickey.

  4. vikesfansteve - Jul 5, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    He’s only fooling himself.

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