On June 18, a federal court jury in Washington, D.C., acquitted former Houston Astro Roger Clemens of charges he lied when testifying before Congress about his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Rusty Hardin, of Rusty Hardin & Associates in Houston, defended Clemens during the trial that began on April 23 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In a telephone interview on June 19, Hardin said, “We never had a bad day during the trial.”
He said he talked with three of the jurors after the verdict, and what they told him during that conversation confirms his opinion of the proceedings: They didn’t believe Clemens used any performance-enhancing drugs, and “they really believed what the government believed was grossly wrong from the very beginning.”
Hardin said the three jurors told him they found the testimony of prosecution witness Brian McNamee, a strength trainer who testified he injected Clemens with performance-enhancing drugs, was not credible. The jurors also told Hardin they are concerned about how the government went after Clemens by filing the felony criminal charges against him: “ ‘Look, if they can do it to Roger, they can do it to us,’ ” Hardin said the three jurors told him.
Hardin said trying a case in federal court in D.C. wasn’t much different from trying one in Houston. “In some ways, D.C. is a southern city,” he said.
In response to questions about the verdict, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. of the District of Columbia issued this written statement: “The jury has spoken in this matter and we thank them for their service. We respect the judicial process and the jury’s verdict. The U.S. Attorney’s office also wishes to thank the investigators and prosecutors, who pursued this case with tremendous dedication and professionalism after its referral to us from Congress.”
The jury found Clemens not guilty of six felony charges of perjury, making false statements and obstruction of Congress.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys