June 08, 2012

Clemens goes all in on perjury trial

Rusty Hardin, the flamboyant lawyer for alleged steroid user and accused perjurer Roger Clemens, started Clemens' perjury trial by arguing key Congressional witness Brian McNamee is himself a liar. It's clearly an "all-in" strategy, to use a poker phrase. And, realistically, it's about all Hardin has to play with.

(Update, June 18: It appeared to work, or else Clemens himself really is Roger the Dodger, despite Hardin's ineptitude in parts of the trial — the jury has just found him not guilty.)

I'll give Hardin, based on what people said in the voir dire to select a jury, at least a 25 percent chance of pulling this off.

In the real world? I think he's full of shit.

Example A of that, beyond the above? His claim that Andy Pettitte's testimony will only help Clemens. How, how, how? Even there, though, that's about all Hardin can do, is spin and hope for the best. Pettitte's not his witness, he's the government's. That said, how adversarial does he get with him?  And, what does the government do on redirect?

And, on the first day of trial, it now looks like Hardin's aggressiveness could backfire, letting the feds call additional witnesses even, if he continues. And, beyond that, he may know grandstanding, but Hardin's a Constitutional ignoramus if he thinks Congress doesn't have the authority to subpoena people and investigate issues as it so desires.

(Update, June 8: Debbie Clemens' testimony may have backfired, too. She totally contradicted one claim of her husband's, and laughably wants the jury to believe only she shot up, and only HGH, and with only McNamee around, not her husband. Her cross-examination could be even more fun.)

Of course, if Hardin wanted to be creative, he could do early and late career photos of Clemens' head, then do early and late career pix of Barry Bonds' head, and say to the jury, "See, look! No difference. No 2-sizes larger!"

Speaking of, a note to Baseball-Reference.com .... Barry Bonds hasn't weighed a measly 185 for more than a decade.

Update, May 17: Ahh, we're moving somewhere. McNamee is testifying. So, he told a white lie to protect his wife, and another to allegedly protect Clemens. That's no excuse for Hardin coming close to the moral equivalent of barratry, in, as even Judge Walton said, taking this case far afield. And, if Walton's not going to let the feds introduce new witnesses, he should do more to rein in Hardin.

Update, May 21: Instead, Hardin has created a small self-inflicted wound. Judge Walton has said that McNamee could name other names who allegedly got HGH, at least. And, he has named Chuck Knoblach and Pettite, both not "news," as well as making an allegation about Mike Stanton.

Update, May 23: Although warned by Judge Walton, Hardin was apparently dumb enough to possibly, at least, open the door for the feds to expand their case a crack. David Segui could be called to the stand, even if he really doesn't want to talk. It would make jurors wonder how much he might be hiding if he resists a subpoena to the point of an arrest.

Update, May 24: Segui showed up and talked. Sounds like he was of modest, or a bit more, help to the prosecution, but no more.

Update, June

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