May 21, 2012: Roger Clemens Trial
by Patrick Read
It's a late start for me, the traffic is all jammed up in DC with street-closings. Security is tight. I assume it's result of the Occupy Chicago & Anti-NATO protest there...
I will continually update this post, so make sure to hit refresh (for updated info) if you want to follow along with the live blog...
To catch up on the day so far:
In a stunning turn of events; Judge Walton changed his mind regarding his previous ruling—that evidence/testimony about Andy Pettitte, Mike Stanton & Chuck Knoblauch's use is inadmissible. He previously ruled the "third party information" was not relevant to Clemens, and would "taint the Jury with guilt by association."
Gov't Prosecutor Butler asked he be allowed to introduce other player's use of PEDs into the Roger Clemens trial to "rehabilitate (the accuser) Brian McNamee's credibility."
And Judge Walton agreed.
Earlier in the trial, Andy Pettitte re-affirmed his 2008 Deposition (here); that he misunderstood a comment made by Clemens about HgH during a workout, 15 years ago. The Defense asked when Pettitte began to feel he misunderstood Clemens, and Pettitte replied, "When he told me that wasn't what he said (in 2005) about HgH." When asked, "so you believed him in 2005?," Pettitte answered, "Yes. I did. And I've thought ever since then, that I did misunderstand him."
The prosecutor's case took a major hit, and McNamee's testimony damaged it even further. So, Walton's reversal--made only to "rehab McNamee's credibility"--seems like it favors one-side over another, instead of remaining neutral & letting the facts stand on their own merit.
Why is Walton interested in accomplishing a rehabilitation for McNamee's cred, and why was it so damaged to begin with? A lot of sidebars have guided the course of events for this trial, leading to "some evidence being admitted and some not."
- Judge Walton would not allow evidence of McNamee's drugging an unwitting victim with GHB before raping her, per a Hotel Manager who witnessed the act & heard the woman shout, "NO. Help Me!"
- McNamee then lied to investigators regarding the incident (here)
Somehow the Judge doesn't think the 2001 rape incident—involving the 'key witness / accuser,' his illegal drug use & pattern of lying to investigators in order to get out of trouble—is relevant in this case, about McNamee's illegal drug use & lying to investigators to get out of trouble.
- Judge Walton also ruled that 20 plus years of clean drug tests from Clemens is not relevant (nor convenient) because of the conclusion it might offer (that Clemens did not use PEDs) but Walton did allow "guilt by association evidence" several times; including implications via photo that Clemens & Canseco were long time teammates, and therefore must have been using together.
The time to object to any line of questioning or content of testimony was already thoroughly discussed and agreed to. This may be grounds for appeal.
Gov't Butler wrapped up his questioning of McNamee. A few things came out: Brian McNamee went into detail about his use. In 2005, McNamee used testosterone two times to help rehab his shoulder.
When asked if it worked, he said he "didn't know." Butler: Did you obtain the testosterone himself? BM: "Yes." Butler: "Did you keep it in your own house?" BM: "Yes." (This contradicts earlier testimony that he "didn't like keeping drugs (prescription bottles included) in his house, around his family."
He also cut off his finger, and used HgH. Butler: "Did you obtain it yourself?" BM: "Yes. I knew where to get it and it was always around." Butler: "Did you keep it in your house?" BM: "Yes. I used it for 2 weeks and it worked."
McNamee redirect: Hardin, "You don't know where Clemens got the 'HgH for his wife?" BM, "No." But you said Clemens got it & it was from Radomski? BM, "I just assumed it was from Kirk. It was the same kind." Mr. McNamee, you have no personal knowledge that Clemens ever got any package sent/recieved from Kirk Radomski, isn't that right? BM, "That's right. I don't know where it was from." (Chalk it up to "made up story" (lie) or "bad memory?")
McNamee testified in 2008 that Deb Clemens used HgH "just before a Sports Illustrated photo shoot." He then gave details as to why he remembered it was "just before the photo shoot." However, it was discovered on cross-exam that this is 'inconsistent." The Sports Illustrated shoot was June 2002. And the alleged use was during Feb. 2003—after the photo shoot, not "before."
Manny Manuel of Miller Lite was then called to give testimony about "beer cans." The Govt is trying to sure up the "care, control & custody" involved in the chain of custody. Manny says the "beer-can-model" was from the relevant time frame.
Hardin: Mr. Manuel, Miller Lite does not make beer cans to store needles in, do they? MM "No. No they don't." RH: That's all your honor. Thank you.
Alexander Lowrey takes the stand to talk about Jose Canseco's pool party. He recalls seeing Roger Clemens there along with his son, Koby. Lowrey arrived at 1pm sharp, he is absolutely sure about it. He was given a tour of the house, ate there & got his picture taken with Clemens & Canseco just before leaving (at 3 or 4pm). Lowrey said he remembered Clemens arriving (he had been looking for Clemens during the party), it was shortly before his leaving -- which means McNamee was already gone when Clemens got there.
McNamee testified that he only stayed there a couple of hours because her had to get to work, and "set-up for the game." He got to the party between 11:30 & noon, so left between 1:30pm and 2pm. If so, this means McNamee never saw Clemens at all, let alone witness a drug deal at a family BBQ.
Clemens testified to Congress that he went to Canseco's after a golf game, didn't stay too long; and "did no such thing as a drug deal' like McNamee claimed. A guy's memory about a pool party 15 years ago doesn't seem very "relevant to this case" (which is about steroid use in baseball, per Henry Waxman). I'm sure Clemens has attended thousands of events & parties; but maybe a BBQ for the Blue Jays might stand out?
-- Lunch break -- (Saw Roger at lunch. He had a good weekend, and did another charity event. He must be racking up the flying miles, that's for sure. His nephew, Nick Johnson, played in the Junior College World Series this weekened too. The Tyler Junior College Apache Athletics (here on twitter) made it to game 6 & were up 5-4 in the bottom of the 6th inning. But Joliet JC came back to win, 7-5. Good experience is the best teacher... Hardin, "I had a working weekend.")
Update from earlier: Govt Butler wanted Knoblauch to appear to give testimony & Hardin replied "If he shows up, we'll ask him about the 2001 rape incident in St. Petersberg." (here) Apparently, McNamee said two other players (one being Knoblauch) and an agent were involved; which contradicts the police report. He also told Clemens that he "saved that girl," which also contradicts the police report.
End of Lunch: Judge back in chambers. It will be a short day on Weds. Govt Durham will be calling two witnesses from the West Coast. And expects to wrap up his witnesses this Thursday or Friday.
Hardin's 1st witnesses will be Agent Novitzky & Agent Longmire. He expects to wrap up in 7 to 8 business days.
Hardin: Mr. Lowrey, would you say that your recollection from 1998 is good? AL, "Yes sir." How old were you then? AL "11 years old." You remember swimming and playing wiffle ball with Koby? AL, "Yes sir." You knew that he wanted to be a baseball player & so did you, right? AL "Yes sir." Do you remember Koby having bleached blonde hair? AL "No sir."(Lowrey testified he remembered Clemens had highlights, which got a chuckle in the press room) Hardin "Koby's baseball team-mates all bleached their hair & so did their fathers."
Continuing... Hardin "Do you remember the trial from 2008?" Objection. Sidebar
Hardin asking about the picture from Canseco's party: When was the 1st time you were asked to remember the picture with connection to the Clemens hearing in 2008? AL "My father asked me about it the day after the hearing. (2/14/2008) Did you then make arrangements to meet with the government? AL "No sir." Admits to never having thought of it from 1998 til 2008.
Hardin: Do you remember when the Govt called you to give a statement about it? AL, "Yes. June 25th 2009" He was 1st interviewed by the Govt during the Grand Jury by Govt Butler & Durham.
Lowrey admits to having a reading comprehension problem.
Leading up to the Grand Jury, had you read anything about the case? AL "A little bit." And what about after your testimony to the Grand Jury? "Not really. I had a conference with the Govt" Who was there? "Guerrero." Anyone else? "Yes. Her (pointing)." Do you remember her name? "No." Harding notes it as Govt Saleski & Agent Longmire.
Asked who answered the door at the Canseco pool party. AL "I don't remember." Would you remember if Canseco answered? "Probably." Did you see any buses parked at Canseco that day? AL "No sir." You didn't see any team buses? "No sir."
Do you remember what time the party started? AL "No sir. I didn't have a watch." And you were only 11 years old, right? "Yes sir." You remember taking a tour of the Canseco's massive house? "Yes sir" Do you remember how long it lasted? "How long could it last, it was just a tour?" You don't remember how long, right? AL "no sir"
Do you remember what was served at the party? AL, "No sir. BBQ I assume" But you don't remember? AL "No." Who did you want to see at the party? AL "Canseco, Clemens & Jose Cruz." Did you meet Jose Cruz? "No." Do you remember what Clemens was wearing? AL "Yes. A bathing suit." Do you remember how long you played wiffle ball with Koby? AL "No. About an hour." You actually remember how long you played wiffle ball? AL "Its a guesstimate" So you don't remember? AL "No sir." Do you remember what time Roger Clemens got there? AL "No sir." Do you remember if Roger Clemens showed up at the party wearing golf clothes? "No. I don't remember."
Do you remember taking a picture with some of the players? Al "Yes" With who? "Jose Canseco and Roger Clemens" Do you remember what time the picture with Jose Canseco was taken? "No sir." Do you remember what time the picture was taken of you & Roger? "No sir. I know it was at the end of the day. Or just before I was leaving. If I left at 3pm, then the pictures were probably taken at about 2:30. if I left at 4pm, then they were probably taken 3:30pm"
(Shows a picture of Clemens in the pool swimming) Was anyone else in the pool? AL "I don't think so." You don't remember? AL, "No sir." Do you remember anyone being around you? "AL "No. I just remember being really nervous trying to build up the courage to ask him if I could get a picture with them." Mr. Pasquale helped intervene for you, to get the picture for you? AL "Yes sir."
Do you remember what time you ate? AL "No sir." Sometime before this picture (at the pool) AL "Yes sir." Man, you really don't remember too much detail about this party, who all was there or what time people left, do you? AL "No, I don't."
Thank you, Mr Lowrey. That's all I have your honor.
Govt redirect to try & re-establish the credible memory of an 11 year old kid in 1998...
Lowrey recalls teleconferencing with Mitchell & "some FBI guys." We didn't tell you what to say, right? AL "No sir."
Did you watch the series that weekend (of the pool party)? AL "No. I can't tell." You don't remember? AL "No sir." Thank you, Mr. Lowrey That's all your honor.
Jurors shown a Clemens excerpt from the 2008 Oversight Committee re: the pool party. Clemens says he attended the party & reaffirms he went for a short while after playing golf (for which he has credit card receipts). He says he "might have stopped into Canseco's, but didn't stay too long & certainly wasn't "huddled in a group doing a drug deal."
Note to Darrell Issa: It seems not all evidence from the 2008 Oversight Hearing is being ignored...
Govt Durham calls Elizabeth Fontaine of the FBI crime lab (here). Very slow speaker on a very slow subject. Now trying to educate the jury on what surface is best for finger prints.
Fontaine goes through her process of counting out finger prints & verifying finger prints; including how prints are lifted using chemicals & ultra violet light, powder etc etc etc etc etc
(Jury looks tired.... I'm with them!)
Fontaine pointing out the evidence that McNamee fabricated regarding Clemens:
- a beer can ('not made for storing needles')
- a pill bottle (that McNamee changed because he didn't want "a prescription bottle in his house, where is family lived" despite the testimony about all the drugs he kept & used at his house)
- cotton balls (that McNamee admitted tainting with his own blood, and adding to a beer can with other players "stuff in it" after stating that all contents had to do with Clemens)
- ampoules (that may have been used by other players despite stating "ALL evidence handed in had to do with Clemens")
- and tainted tissue & guaze (per McNamee's tesimony last week).
These items & relative information are some of the reason McNamee spent so much time apologizing to the jury for last week; admitting he lied to the Govt (Novitzky & Parella), George Mitchell (*Ex-Senator & Red Sox Legal Consultant, who was asked to "represent the MLB); to Congress (the Oversight Committee) and to the jury itself (having changed his testimony several times last week).
Fontaine states she found usable prints on the plastic bag & they belong to Brian McNamee.
No Clemens prints at all.
Fontaine also says Earl Ward & Deborah Greenberg's prints were found on the evidence, which means they also handled the "evidence." Only 6 usable prints total, they are all on the bag & are McNamee's prints.
No prints on the ampoules or drugs, that McNamee claims was "in Clemens apartment." Govt Durham: Can you tell what date the prints were left on these items? Fontaine "No I cannot."
Mike Attanasio cross examine:
Did you find Clemens prints on the beer can? Fontaine, "No"
Did you find Clemens prints on the pill bottle? Fontaine, "No"
What about on the 2 syringes, the 2 viles and 2 ampoules - were Clemens prints on them? Fontaine, "No. Mr. Clemens finger-prints were not on them."
This is important. McNamee said Clemens "had the HgH himself, at his Sky Dome quarters." If true, then how wouldn't his prints be on the viles or ampoules; especially when McNamee admitted he was going to save evidence from Clemens (for Mrs. McNamee's comfort) "to make sure he didn't take the fall?"
That is it for the day.
No court on Tuesday 5/22/2012.
No Clemens finger-prints found on McNamee's "evidence."
Court resumes Wednesday at noon. See ya then...