FanDuel - WFBC

June 18, 2012

Roger Clemens Not Guilty on All Charges: Former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens has been acquitted on all charges that he obstructed and lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs during his career. He'd been charged with two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing Congress.

posted by rcade to baseball at 05:33 PM - 48 comments

I would have (and have) said this prior to the verdict, but what a colossal waste of time and money.

posted by holden at 05:35 PM on June 18

Brian McNamee had absolutely no credibility. They should not have even brought this case. When Pettite said he could have misheard, it was pretty much over.

posted by bperk at 06:14 PM on June 18

When Pettite said he could have misheard, it was pretty much over.

Yep. How does that even happen? How does the prosecution not ask Pettitte if there was ANY chance he could have misheard what he thought he heard?

Pettitte didn't want any part of the trial, and wanted nothing to do with helping convict his friend. Once he had an out, he took it.

posted by justgary at 06:37 PM on June 18

but what a colossal waste of time and money.

If by colossal you mean your average Congressional hearing.

Contrary to popular belief, Congress did not expend unusually high resources investigating Clemens or, for that matter, HGH, B-12 and other substances. In fact, the costs associated with the two February 2008 hearings were comparable with most 110th Congress hearings, some of which also concerned "nonessential" topics but nonetheless failed to attract the same level of media scrutiny and public scorn.

posted by justgary at 06:40 PM on June 18

Yup...it (steroids era) happened...can we all just move on? Please!?

Baseball shouldn't be attempting to project a "holier than thou" image. That's disingenuous (at best) and flat out criminal (at worst)!

posted by slackerman at 06:48 PM on June 18

Our tax dollars hard at work. Did anybody really care anyway? Congress can't seem to do their own jobs very well but they sure spent a lot of time going after Clemens because it appeared he did his job a little too well. Those legislators need to get their priorities straight.

I guess this means no * will accompany Clemens records and he will make the HOF. Good for him.

posted by Atheist at 06:50 PM on June 18

Regardless of the acquittal, I have trouble believing he never took steroids. I didn't follow the case much, though. He's old news. I'd rather focus on today's players than the ones from the juice era.

posted by rcade at 06:56 PM on June 18

Congress can't seem to do their own jobs very well but they sure spent a lot of time going after Clemens because it appeared he did his job a little too well.

That's a dumb summary. Clemens wasn't prosecuted for doing his job too well.

posted by rcade at 07:00 PM on June 18

Yep. How does that even happen? How does the prosecution not ask Pettitte if there was ANY chance he could have misheard what he thought he heard?

Um.
This wasn't a surprise from Pettitte.
They knew about it going into the trial.

In fact, if he said anything different, then he ran the chance of getting charged with perjury himself.

From Craig Calcaterra:

Pettitte was deposed by the government in 2008. You can read his entire testimony here. The relevant parts of it come on pages 25-28. There Pettitte recounts the two conversations he had about PEDs with Roger Clemens: one in 1999, one in 2005. As he did in court today, he said then that he initially believed Clemens told him in 1999 that he used PEDs. Then in 2005, Clemens said something else: that it was his wife, not Clemens himself, who used.

Here is the relevant line from Pettitte:

I'm saying that I was under the impression that he
told me that he had taken it. And then when Roger told me
that he didn't take it, and I misunderstood him, I took it
for that, that I misunderstood him.

Edit:
I've taken out my statement of perjury trap when I was editing my comment, before someone responded. I didn't mean to leave rcade out to dry.

posted by grum@work at 07:06 PM on June 18

But they did set up a perjury trap for him at the hearing ...

Is that a fancy way of saying they asked him a question?

posted by rcade at 07:11 PM on June 18

They pulled in Clemens for his testimony because they knew they had McNamee's previously secret testimony on record. They specifically wanted Clemens to say "I didn't do anything wrong!" because they thought they had testimony that said "He did do something wrong!".

They wanted to trap him.

The fact that the testimony came from a lying criminal didn't bother Congress.

posted by grum@work at 07:28 PM on June 18

A ridiculous waste of time. As long as baseball players can afford the best defense money can buy, there will never be a single conviction for anything related to hearings, trials, etc. revolving around this issue.

I doubt there's many who follow baseball that even want to see or hear about Clemens anymore because of his moronic, smug little grin and the popular belief he is a liar and a steroid user.

posted by dyams at 07:43 PM on June 18

the popular belief he is a liar and a steroid user.

Never failed a test.
Never presented with credible evidence of usage.
Never convicted of perjury.
Never admitted to using PEDs.

I think the indictment might be on the "popular belief" than on Clemens.

posted by grum@work at 07:55 PM on June 18

justgary -- your link does not go anywhere, as far as I can tell.

In terms of the substance of the point, I could not care less what the Congrssional hearings themselves cost; the prosecution is what was a waste of time and money. When Congress asked the DOJ to investigate whether there was potential perjury, the DOJ should have told Congress to pound sand. Or, at a minimum, should have decided there was not sufficient evidence to bring a case. It's called prosecutorial discretion, and it seems to be a lost concept, particularly when someone has a hard-on for adding "successfully prosecuted famous person X" on his or her resume. Two trials cost a lot of money.

As far as Congress itself is concerned, the fewer hearings that institution holds and the fewer things its members seek to assert are within its purview, the better.

posted by holden at 08:58 PM on June 18

So grum, all the other testimony by other individuals is just ignored? That's the problem I have is that now that this bogus trial is over everyone wants to automatically discount what McNamee said. Pettitte knows the truth but was given legal advice that allowed him to "not recall" or "may have misheard" and walk away as not having lied himself and also being able to keep his good buddy Roger happy and free.

So in other words grum, you are totally convinced now that Roger Clemens never used PEDs? If so, that's fine. I'm more of the belief our legal system is dominated by money.

A high-paid physician in Buffalo was acquitted of vehicular homicide in a case where he ran over a girl while texting and driving drunk, then drove away. His lawyer had him stick to the story he wasn't aware he had hit anything (even though the front of his vehicle was caved in and on display in the courtroom).

Average schmucks like McNamee are always going to be made to look as if they're not credible when the elite attorneys get ahold of them.

posted by dyams at 09:02 PM on June 18

justgary -- your link does not go anywhere, as far as I can tell.

Oops, sorry. Here it is.

posted by justgary at 09:18 PM on June 18

The fact that the testimony came from a lying criminal didn't bother Congress.

Providing steroids to a pro athlete is a crime, so anyone who could offer first-hand testimony about doing that would be a criminal.

posted by rcade at 09:37 PM on June 18

Pettitte knows the truth but was given legal advice that allowed him to "not recall" or "may have misheard" and walk away as not having lied himself and also being able to keep his good buddy Roger happy and free.

Actually, as I pointed out before, he gave that same testimony to Congress in private. There was no threat of legal issues against him when he said that. The fact that people don't remember (or choose to ignore) what Pettitte said before does not make his Clemens trial testimony "different".

So in other words grum, you are totally convinced now that Roger Clemens never used PEDs?

I'm totally convinced that multiple millions of dollars of government investigation, including:

  • 15,732 pages of Clemens family bank records from J.P. Morgan Chase.
  • 1,139 pages of records from American Express credit cards.
  • More than 300 pages of medical records from MLB teams for which Clemens played.
  • Hundreds of pages of phone records from nine companies.
  • In addition to reviewing the documents, a group of 93 agents interviewed 179 individuals in 68 locations and produced 235 reports of their interviews. The Clemens legal team prepared a map that shows the extent of the agents' work. In many of the interviews, the agents were accompanied either in person or on the phone by assistant U.S. attorneys Steven Durham and Daniel Butler, who led the government trial team.

(Lester Munson's comprehensive review on ESPN.com)

led to no new evidence being unearthed. Other than the testimony of a known liar and criminal, Clemens seems to have covered up his tracks quite well.

posted by grum@work at 10:08 PM on June 18

Providing steroids to a pro athlete is a crime, so anyone who could offer first-hand testimony about doing that would be a criminal.

Unless, of course, they were promised immunity for anything they said in order to allow the government to go after someone more dangerous famous.

posted by grum@work at 10:10 PM on June 18

A high-paid physician in Buffalo was acquitted of vehicular homicide in a case where he ran over a girl while texting and driving drunk, then drove away. His lawyer had him stick to the story he wasn't aware he had hit anything (even though the front of his vehicle was caved in and on display in the courtroom).

Interesting, and sad.

It's probably as relevant to the Clemens case as the story of David Milgaard.

Average schmucks like McNamee are always going to be made to look as if they're not credible when the elite attorneys get ahold of them.

I'm sorry, I must be confused. Are you actually trying to paint McNamee in a good light?

Quote:
The former strength coach admitted to having exaggerated, changed his story and lied to authorities in a 2001 criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault.
End Quote

He's admitted to lying to authorities before.

You'll pardon me if I don't shed a tear when lawyers might make him seem less than trustworthy.

posted by grum@work at 10:22 PM on June 18

So if McNamee lied, he needs to be brought up on perjury charges. Someone is lying, so which one is it? Clemens or McNamee?

posted by dyams at 11:07 PM on June 18

So if McNamee lied, he needs to be brought up on perjury charges. Someone is lying, so which one is it? Clemens or McNamee?

Isn't that just a lovely consequence of testifying for the prosecution.

"We lost, so we're going to take it out on you, primary witness!"

For the same reason they couldn't convict Clemens of perjury, they couldn't convict McNamee: evidence.

The lack of supporting evidence for his testimony isn't grounds for determining that he lied under oath. If they could prove that McNamee lied, then they couldn't possibly have started prosecuting Clemens.

posted by grum@work at 11:21 PM on June 18

My question is, what do you believe? You want to say my comment about "popular belief" is off track based on this court decision. I'm not suggesting the legal system go after McNamee, but another fact you can't dispute is the truth: Either Clemens was a PED user or McNamee made these claims up. Someone is lying under oath, so who do you (and others) think it was?

posted by dyams at 05:38 AM on June 19

another fact you can't dispute is the truth

I don't even know how to parse that. Sure you can dispute the truth. People do it all the time. The question is, do you know the truth? No. You don't.

Either Clemens was a PED user or McNamee made these claims up.

...or Clemens was a PED user AND McNamee made these claims up. The truth is rarely simple and almost never indisputable.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:09 AM on June 19

I think the truth is that the U.S. Department of Justice seems to be targeting high-profile athletes for some reason.

posted by bperk at 10:16 AM on June 19

I think the truth is that the U.S. Department of Justice seems to be targeting high-profile athletes for some reason.

Oh yeah, a high profile athlete can't catch a break in this country. Where's my violin?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:19 PM on June 19

our legal system is dominated by money

The entire legal system has become about money, not about right or wrong.

Clemens, Lance Armstrong, et all .... What we know is fact: These guys have loads of money and can finance any defence effort they choose. What the evidence suggests and what the overwhelming majority believe gets trumped by money and it's influence on the legal system.

posted by cixelsyd at 01:41 PM on June 19

Clemens, Lance Armstrong, et all .... What we know is fact: These guys have loads of money and can finance any defence effort they choose. What the evidence suggests and what the overwhelming majority believe gets trumped by money and it's influence on the legal system.

You do realize that Clemens, Lance Armstrong, and every single other athlete that has ever been prosecuted has been at a financial disadvantage compared to the government, right?

You did see all the effort that was made by the government in their case, right?
Just a quick piece of it:
In addition to reviewing the documents, a group of 93 agents interviewed 179 individuals in 68 locations and produced 235 reports of their interviews.

How much money do you think they spent to do all those interviews?
Probably 10x more than what Clemens spent on his defense.

If you think that an individual has a financial edge over a (motivated) US government attorney, you are sadly mistaken.

posted by grum@work at 02:07 PM on June 19

What the evidence suggests and what the overwhelming majority believe

Well, in this case the evidence didn't suggest anything, since the jury didn't believe it.

And if I remember correctly, the "overwhelming majority" (fueled by the media hype, just like the run up to the Clemens trials) believed that Richard Jewell was guilty even before he was charged with anything.

posted by grum@work at 02:11 PM on June 19

Um.
This wasn't a surprise from Pettitte.
They knew about it going into the trial.
posted by grum@work

Actually, as I pointed out before, he gave that same testimony to Congress in private. There was no threat of legal issues against him when he said that. The fact that people don't remember (or choose to ignore) what Pettitte said before does not make his Clemens trial testimony "different".
posted by grum@work

Yeah, thanks grum, but I'm well aware of the details of the trial. I simply do not see Pettitte's testimony pre-trial as the same during trail, and I find it mind boggling that you do. Because, well, it's clearly not.

When Pettitte originally recounted the story he didn't say at the time his understanding of the statement was 50/50. He said Clemens told him he took HGH.

When Pettitte told his wife he didn't say "I could be mistaken, it's 50/50, but I think Roger told me he took HGH". He told her 'Roger said he took HGH'.

When he told McNamee that Clemens took HGH, he didn't say "I'm not sure, but I think Roger might have told me he took HGH". He told him 'Roger told me he took HGH'.

It wasn't until Clemens denied ever saying that (during congressional hearings on the subject, amazing timing, huh?) , changing it to his wife taking HGH, did Pettitte say he then assumed he misunderstood Clemens. That's the only reason. Because Clemens said he 'misremembered', and being Clemens friend, he took his word.

Now Pettitte says its 50/50 he could be wrong. Which means, basically, he has no idea what Clemens said. That's not what he said before. If I asked you if it was going to rain today, and I was 50/50 if you you said yes or no, would I go around telling people it was going to rain? No. Because if I'm 50/50 on your answer, I have no idea if it's going to rain today. I know no more than before I asked you the question.

Pettitte got an out, and took it. Period. If he had told the prosecutors from the beginning he had no idea what Clemens told him, he would have been unusable as a witness. But that's not what he said.

You've already quoted Lester Munson once. Here he is again:

In another artful cross-examination, Clemens attorney Michael Attanasio led Andy Pettitte into an admission that his certainty about Clemens telling him that he had used HGH was only "about 50-50." It was a serious blow to the prosecutors who had been relying heavily on Pettitte's seemingly conclusive assertion that Clemens told him that Clemens had used HGH.

Munson obviously doesn't agree with you. Other wise, there's no need for an artful cross-examination to pull it out of him. And it's not a blow. Again, the idea that Pettitte claiming that AFTER Clemens denied his statement he thought he might have 'misunderstood' him, and claiming now that there's a 50 percent chance he heard Clemens wrong, is the same is nonsense.

From your link:
Question: Your recollection is that he said he was taking human growth hormone? Pettitte: Yes.

Question: And you have no doubt about that recollection? Pettitte: I mean, no. I mean, he told me that.

No 50/50 answer. If he had given a 50/50 answer, if he had said 'it's a toss up what he told me', that changes everything. But instead we get 'no doubt'.

More:

Question: Do you -- today, as you look back, do you
think you misunderstood? Pettitte: I don't think I misunderstood him. Just to answer that question for you when it was brought up to me, I don't think I misunderstood him. I went to Mac immediately after that. But then, 6 years later when he told me that I did misunderstand him, you know, since '05 to this day, you know, I kind of felt that I might have misunderstood him. I'm sure you can understand, you know, where I'm coming from with that conversation.

Question: Sure. Well, given the closeness of the relationship and the admiration you have for him. Pettitte: Right.

Question: But you would have remembered if he raised his wife in that conversation. Pettitte: I would think that I would have.

Question: And when you spoke with your wife, you would have probably have mentioned that he mentioned his wife was taking HGH in that conversation. And you don't have any recollection of doing that? You just have a recollection of telling your wife that he told you he took HGH. Pettitte: Right.

Pettitte's story completely changed.

------------

Regardless of the acquittal, I have trouble believing he never took steroids.
posted by rcade

To believe Clemens never took steroids you have to believe that McNamee was right about the other athletes he accused, but wrong about Clemens. You have to believe that Pettitte misunderstood something that he was telling others. You have to believe that Clemens was telling the truth about his wife when he changed his story in 2005 during the congressional hearings. You have to believe that McNamee planted evidence. You have to believe McNamee would inject his wife, but not Clemens.

Plus, all the little things that add up. For instance, when Pettitte told McNamee that Clemens told him he took HGH, McNamee immediately acted upset that he had told Pettitte. If McNamee had never injected Clemens, his response should have been "really? I didn't know that". Is McNamee so quick witted he just went along with the story? Hard to believe.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think this should have ever been taken to trial, and I've been saying for weeks Clemens would walk. The prosecutions 2 main witnesses were McNamee who had a terrible past, and Pettitte, who didn't want to be there, and didn't want anything to do with the trail. Once Pettitte changed his story, it was over.

You have McNamee, not use to being in the public eye, on the stand being attacked by one the the best lawyers in the country., while Clemens, of course, didn't have to testify. What the jury heard of Clemens was via tape. Clemens is a buffoon, and has always had problems with the truth. Chances are he would have been a disaster under cross examination, but that never happened.

Add to that the mesmerizing effect star athletes have on juries, plus the need to be guilty 'without a reasonable doubt', and a jury that constantly questioned the need for a trial (and often falling asleep) and there's no way Clemens gets convicted.

That's a dumb summary. Clemens wasn't prosecuted for doing his job too well.
posted by rcade

It's a mind numbingly stupid summary. It was Clemens that demanded the hearing, Clemens that visited with house members before the hearing. It was Clemens that ignored all advice to let it go. It was Clemens that threw everyone under the bus to get to a trial. It was Clemens pulling the strings the whole time.

Believe this was a giant waste of money? Preach on. Think Clemens never took HGH? I think you're a fool, but whatever. But painting Roger Clemens as a victim because he was doing his job 'too well' or is a high priced athlete borders on comedy.

Well, in this case the evidence didn't suggest anything, since the jury didn't believe it.
posted by grum@work

In this case the evidence didn't suggest anything beyond a reasonable doubt. And of course, that's a huge difference from your statement.

posted by justgary at 03:19 PM on June 19

No dog in this fight, other than my personal beliefs which are among the less informed in this discussion. I just want to point out how incredibly difficult it is to clear the "beyond a reasonable doubt" bar in our legal system. I don't personally practice criminal law, but have some experience with juries. What can be considered a "reasonable" doubt in the mind of a juror will sometimes boggle the mind of a "reasonable" person.

As far as the legal system being ruined/tainted by money: Yes, a good, expensive attorney can artfully create this doubt in almost any situation, and you get what you pay for. That doesn't mean that the entire legal system is tainted by money. Like anything else in life, the wealthy can afford the best, and the non-wealthy cannot.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:37 PM on June 19

I can't work my way through your quotes, justgary.

I'm not trying to be obtuse, or difficult, but I can't tell if the quotes are from 1999 (original discussion), 2005 (point where Clemens said "for my wife", instilling doubt in Pettitte's mind), 2008 (deposition), or 2011/12 (trial).

I'm going by the "Pettitte didn't change his story" understanding based on the article by Craig Calcaterra, a writer for NBC Sports (and a frequent poster on Baseball Think Factory). It's a concise description of the information.

The fact that Clemens defense attorney's had a chance to further expand on Pettitte's testimony (by asking about "less than 50/50") is just a product of having a trial compared to simply taking the word of one-sided (and possibly leading) deposition testimony.

Nobody convicts based on grand jury testimony or private depositions.

It's a mind numbingly stupid summary. It was Clemens that demanded the hearing, Clemens that visited with house members before the hearing. It was Clemens that ignored all advice to let it go. It was Clemens that threw everyone under the bus to get to a trial. It was Clemens pulling the strings the whole time.

Huh. It almost sounds like someone who has been accused of something, but then doing everything he can to make sure he can clear his name. ;)

posted by grum@work at 04:27 PM on June 19

I'm going by the "Pettitte didn't change his story" understanding based on the article by Craig Calcaterra, a writer for NBC Sports (and a frequent poster on Baseball Think Factory). It's a concise description of the information.

So concise that he doesn't actually show the similarity. He just says 'they're the same".

The quotes I took were all from your link. It comes down to this.

1. Pettitte said he 'no doubt' heard Clemens say he took HGH. There is not a whiff of Pettitte believing he might be wrong about what he heard. Until:

2. Years later when Clemens denied the story.

So just with a denial by Clemens Pettitte went from 'no doubt' to 50/50.

Obviously I disagree with Calcaterra. But I do think the prosecution should have grilled Pettitte more pre-trial. Again, I just don't think Pettitte wanted any part of sending his 'friend' to a guilty plea. And Pettitte was so important to the trail, making the small, but clear, change to saying 50/50 was enough to invalidate his testimony.

Huh. It almost sounds like someone who has been accused of something, but then doing everything he can to make sure he can clear his name.

Of course. I didn't say otherwise. Doesn't change my belief in what I said. People seem to forget how awful Clemens came across during interviews, in front of congress, during his staged phone call. By the time Clemens was busy 'defending' his name, he had no choice but to do everything he could to clear it.

posted by justgary at 04:55 PM on June 19

Pettitte's testimony to Congress (in 2008):

Q: What was your reaction to what he said?

A: Well, obviously I was a little confused and flustered. But after that, I was like, well, obviously I must have misunderstood him.

...

Q It sounds like when you it sounds like your recollection of the conversation you had with him in 1999, you are fairly certain about that, that he told you he used it. Do you think it's likely that you did misunderstand what Clemens had told you then? Are you saying you just didn't want to get into a dispute with him about it so you dropped the subject?

A I'm saying that I was under the impression that he told me that he had taken it. And then when Roger told me that he didn't take it, and I misunderstood him, I took it for that, that I misunderstood him.

(Remember, this is a deposition he was given by people who were looking to trap Clemens. They could ask any leading questions they wanted, and the best they could get was "I must have misunderstood him".)

If a lawyer asks you to determine how confident you are with your understanding of what was said, I think "less than 50/50" isn't a change from "I misunderstood him".

I'm complaining that it's disingenuous by reporters to say that Pettitte changed his testimony from 2008 to 2012. It implies to those that are only reading those specific news accounts that he went from "positive" to "unsure", when in fact he went from "unsure" to "another flavour of unsure".

posted by grum@work at 05:16 PM on June 19

I'm complaining that it's disingenuous by reporters to say that Pettitte changed his testimony from 2008 to 2012. It implies to those that are only reading those specific news accounts that he went from "positive" to "unsure", when in fact he went from "unsure" to "another flavour of unsure".

It's not 'unsure' to 'another flavor of unsure'. Pettitte went from sure to less than 50/50 because the guy on trial told him he was wrong. It feels ridiculous even writing that sentence, but that's what happened.

From your link Pettitte says he had 'no doubt' that he heard Clemens say he had used HGH. He went on to tell both his wife and Mcnamee the Clemens had told him he used HGH. At that point, Pettitte seems 100 percent sure of what he heard.

Years later when Pettitte brings it up to Clemens he denies it. Pettitte then, because Clemens is his friend, beings to doubt what he heard. That's very obvious from your link. That's the only reason Pettitte now doubts his memory, because Clemens told him he was wrong.

I don't blame Pettitte. He didn't want to be there. He got offered a way to make his testimony worthless. He took it. But I think the attorney's dropped the ball on this one.

I'm no attorney, but it seems to me they should have used more deliberate questioning.

Question: After the first conversation was there any doubt in your mind about what Clemens had told you.

Pettitte: No.

Question: 100 percent sure?

Pettite: Yes.

Question: Are you 100 percent sure today?

Pettitte: No.

Question: How sure are you today that Clemens told you he took HGH.

Pettitte: Less than 50/50.

Question: And why the change of hear?

Pettitte: Clemens told me I heard wrong.

----------

I have no idea why the prosecution didn't go that route. I'm guessing they knew Pettitte was a wish-washy witness, and didn't want to push it, didn't want to force out a damaging comment. But I think that was a mistake.

They basically could have shown that Pettitte was 100 sure of what he heard until Clemens, now feeling the heat from the congressional hearings, used the jedi mind trick to force him to doubt his memory. And that only the fact that the person on trial told him he was wrong gave him doubt.

Not only that, but it wasn't simply a mishearing of 'did' or 'didn't', it was Clemens telling Pettitte his wife did HGH, and then Pettitte having no recollection.

The whole Pettitte testimony is bizarre, that he had no doubts, but the guy on trial telling him he was wrong now turns his certainty into less than 50/50. And I think instead of ignoring that, the prosecution should have brought that fact out to show how ridiculous Pettitte's current story sounds.

I don't think Clemens would have been convicted regardless for many reasons. But their chances would have been better.

posted by justgary at 09:48 PM on June 19

Pettitte went from sure to less than 50/50 because the guy on trial told him he was wrong.

What? That's not the case at all.

The quotes I have in the prior comment ("I misunderstood him") are from his Congressional testimony in 2008.

He then said "less than 50/50" during this perjury trial.

The media are trying to paint the picture that there is a difference between 2008 and 2012.

There isn't. Saying "I misunderstood him" in 2008 is not "sure". It doesn't matter what he thought in 1999 (original discussion) or 2005 (second discussion). What matters for the trial is what he said in 2008.

If Pettitte had said during the 2012 trial that he was sure Clemens had told him that he had used hGH (in 1999) and that he didn't misunderstand him (in 2005), then the defense attorneys would have simply pulled out his testimony in the 2008 Congressional hearing and asked him in which instance is he lying: during this trial, or during the Congressional hearing.

That's why a lot of legal experts were wondering why they even bothered to bring Pettitte into the trial. The defense attorneys already had his sworn Congressional statement to use to shoot him down if he changed his mind (again).

posted by grum@work at 01:02 AM on June 20

What? That's not the case at all.

Sure it is. That's exactly the case. You're just using a different time frame and ignoring the details of what actually happened. And that's fine. That's obvious what the jury did. I'm arguing that during the congressional hearings the questioning of Pettitte should have been far more intensive. Instead of glossing over the details, they should have highlighted them.

What matters for the trial is what he said in 2008.

Exactly. That's where they made their mistake.

They should have shown clearly from the time Pettitte heard Clemens say he had used HGH he had no doubts, telling both his wife and Mcnamee the story. They should have shown that only years later, when he brought the story back up to Clemens to find out what he would say if asked about HGH, did Clemens deny the story. They should have shown that the only reason Pettitte started doubting the story is because Clemens himself, when the shit was hitting the fan, told him he was wrong.

It's just a completely preposterous story, that the accused denied what he said when he was clearly in trouble, and Pettitte bought it for no other reason. And I don't think the prosecution was successful at all in making that clear.

I don't give a damn what the media believes. It doesn't matter. I don't care if Pettitte is being unfairly judged. He has himself to blame for being in this position. What matters is the truth, and getting the details of the truth on the table, and that didn't happen. And again, I don't think it would have mattered. I don't think the jury cared about details, much as you don't seem to care. But it was still the right thing to do.

posted by justgary at 09:11 AM on June 20

They should have shown clearly from the time Pettitte heard Clemens say he had used HGH he had no doubts, telling both his wife and Mcnamee the story. They should have shown that only years later, when he brought the story back up to Clemens to find out what he would say if asked about HGH, did Clemens deny the story. They should have shown that the only reason Pettitte started doubting the story is because Clemens himself, when the shit was hitting the fan, told him he was wrong.

I think asking Pettite how clear he was about remembering something a long time ago rather than what he is clear about now doesn't really fly. He wasn't under oath way back when. He didn't have to assess how clear his memory was in terms of swearing to it. Pettite can only really testify to what he knows now -- not as to what he once thought he knew.

posted by bperk at 11:07 AM on June 20

Pettite can only really testify to what he knows now -- not as to what he once thought he knew.

Exactly. I understand where justgary's coming from, but for the sake of the trial and evidence for the trial, it doesn't work. It would be like putting me on trial and asking me if I thought Pete Rose bet on baseball, but not what I thought now, but what I thought in 1995.

By the way, if you're going to get upset with someone changing their testimony during the trial, then go after prosecution witness Anthony Corso, since he changed his mind between the 2010 grand jury hearing, and his appearance in court:

In response to a question from a jury, read in court by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, Corso said McNamee didn't tell him whether the syringes he saved were used on Clemens. "He did not," said Corso.

But during further examination by prosecutor Steven Durham, Corso listened as Durham read a transcript of Corso's April 2010 grand jury testimony in which Corso said, "He (McNamee) said, 'Well, I saved two syringes that I used on Roger.' ''

Corso's response to that: "It helps me see what I said then."

Pressed by defensive attorney Rusty Hardin on what his answer was in court Tuesday about whether the needles were allegedly specific to Clemens, Corso again said, "I do not recall."

posted by grum@work at 11:18 AM on June 20

I think asking Pettite how clear he was about remembering something a long time ago rather than what he is clear about now doesn't really fly.

There's no need to ask Pettitte, and I don't think Pettitte's memory should be trusted. I think his actions should. His actions speak louder than any memory. Pettitte was sure enough he was telling those closest to him. He was sure enough that he asked Clemens about how he would handle himself if asked about HGH.

- When Clemens told you he took HGH was it clear? (he's already said it was)
- Did you tell your wife that Clemens told you he took HGH?
- Did you tell McNamee that Clemens told you he took HGH?
- Did you later ask Clemens about what he would say if asked about HGH?

All those answers would be yes.

- Would you have done any of those things if you had doubts about what you had heard?

I'm guessing Pettitte would have said 'no'. If he says yes, then he's unusable.

The idea that Pettitte would do any of those things without being sure of what Clemens said defies basic logic.

And then with Clemens denying what he said Pettitte suddenly decides he misunderstood.

- Why do you believe now that you may have misunderstood Clemens?

He already answered that; because Clemens told him he misunderstood him.

And again, I don't think it changes anything in the trial. There simply wasn't enough solid evidence. But the story is clearly nonsense. There's a reason Will McDonough called Clemens the Texas Con Man. Pettitte may believe anything the man says, may completely change his thoughts at Clemens word, but I think the public has seen enough of Clemens to realize what a blowhard he is.

posted by justgary at 11:35 AM on June 20

It would be like putting me on trial and asking me if I thought Pete Rose bet on baseball, but not what I thought now, but what I thought in 1995.

That analogy doesn't work.

It works if you said that in 1995 you believed Rose bet on baseball, but now you're not sure. And when asked why you said "because Pete Rose told me he didn't".

And we know how that would have worked out for you ;)

posted by justgary at 12:01 PM on June 20

It works if you said that in 1995 you believed Rose bet on baseball, but now you're not sure. And when asked why you said "because Pete Rose told me he didn't".

And we know how that would have worked out for you ;)

Attorney: In 1995, did you believe Pete Rose bet on baseball?
Graham: No.
Attorney: Why?
Graham: Pete Rose insisted he didn't bet on baseball.
Attorney: Do you now believe, in 2012, that Pete Rose bet on baseball?
Graham: Yes.
Attorney: Why? What changed your mind?
Graham: Pete Rose insisting that he didn't bet on baseball.
Attorney: No further questions!

posted by grum@work at 12:27 PM on June 20

But the story is clearly nonsense.

Of course, this completely ignores the giant elephant in the room with Pettitte's story that Clemens told him he used hGH in 1999.

McNamee's own testimony says he wasn't giving Clemens hGH back then.

That means for Clemens to be saying he used it, there has to be another supplier. And with all the paper trail the feds have tracked down, and all the other players caught with cancelled cheques or delivery stubs, and Clemens supposedly being quite cavalier about talking about using PEDs back then (with Pettitte), how come this other supplier hasn't been found?

Or even evidence of PEDs being paid for or supplied to Clemens in 1999?

posted by grum@work at 12:33 PM on June 20

I think what you are describing, justgary, would be a violation of hearsay rules. Pettite is not allowed to testify about his beliefs back then to prove the fact remembered (i..e., that Clemens used HGH).

Rule 803. Exceptions to the Rule Against Hearsay Regardless of Whether the Declarant Is Available as a Witness

(3) Then-Existing Mental, Emotional, or Physical Condition. A statement of the declarant's then-existing state of mind (such as motive, intent, or plan) or emotional, sensory, or physical condition (such as mental feeling, pain, or bodily health), but not including a statement of memory or belief to prove the fact remembered or believed unless it relates to the validity or terms of the declarant's will.

posted by bperk at 12:44 PM on June 20

Of course, this completely ignores the giant elephant in the room with Pettitte's story that Clemens told him he used hGH in 1999.

My claiming the story was nonsense was in regards to Pettitte changing his mind, that Pettitte believes in what he heard enough to tell others yet decides he has no idea what Clemens says because Clemens denies it later. It sounds, to me, ridiculous. You are free to disagree.

I'm not going to debate the rest of it. We'd be here forever. I've already said that there wasn't enough evidence to convict him, so I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to get me to admit with a 'gotcha' example. There's plenty on Clemens side that doesn't make sense either.

I believe three things:

1. The Not Guilty verdict was correct. 2. He belongs in the HoF 3. He did HGH.

I have very little doubt about any of the three. Every time Clemens opened his mouth that became clearer to me. He complained about being gagged from discussing the case for the past several years, and I'm not sure if he can even comprehend what a blessing that was for him.

Of course, not being convicted of lying to congress doesn't mean he didn't take HGH. Clemens would certainly like the public to believe that. That's why he went to court. But I see nothing that came out of the trail that changes my mind. Reasonable doubt is a high standard, and the accused is not forced to testify, and justifiably so. But it belongs in the court room. I can use much more than the jurors could in coming to my decision.

I think what you are describing, justgary, would be a violation of hearsay rules. Pettite is not allowed to testify about his beliefs back then to prove the fact remembered (i..e., that Clemens used HGH).

Well, obviously I'm not an attorney. So you very well might be right.

I'm just going by his testimony before congress, and it seems that what is already known, that Pettitte was telling people what he heard, shows that he was sure of what he heard (certainly someone of Pettitte's 'character' wouldn't spread rumors without being positive of what he heard). There's no need to ask Pettitte if he was sure of what he heard years ago.

And Pettitte states during the hearing that he then believes he misunderstood the coversation when Clemens told him he misunderstood the conversation. Even without testifying about his beliefs 'back then' it seems pretty easy to connect the dots, IF you want to connect the dots, which, with a jury bored and falling asleep, maybe was a lost cause.

posted by justgary at 02:51 PM on June 20

I initially believed that Clemens did use hGH when the Mitchell report came out.

However, after reading as much as I have about McNamee's testimony (both available to the jury) and history (not available to the jury), I'm not so sure about that any more.

There are lots of holes in his stories, contradictions, and reasons for him to lie/fabricate.

As witnesses/informants go, this is one of the worst ones I've seen.

posted by grum@work at 03:22 PM on June 20

I was 50/50 on Clemens until he started doing interviews. The more I heard, the more I was sure he was guilty, especially after his pitiful appearance in front of congress (people forget how badly 'most' thought he came across).

No one has as much reason to lie as Clemens. And though everyone around Clemens is involved in HGH... his trainer, his wife, his buddy, someone he never touched the stuff. Just doesn't fly.

As far as McNamee being a bad witness, of course he is. He's as sketchy as they come, and yet that's who someone as powerful and successful as Clemens hitches his career to? Come on. It worked out well for Clemens, because the guy that he tore down was the guy that he went to for HGH. It's possible a guy can surround himself by drug dealers and be completely clean. Not likely though.

None of that, however, is usable in court. And it shouldn't be. But I think it's near impossible that Clemens was clean his entire career. Would I bet my non-existent children? No. A large amount of money? In a heart beat.

posted by justgary at 10:52 PM on June 28

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