Monthly Archives: July 2011

Swing and a Mistrial


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Just as the Roger Clemens trial was settling into its first full day of testimony the judge called a foul….and Clemens walked.Clemens110714_Judge

As prosecutor Steve Durham stood at the podium Judge Reggie Walton said, “Government counsel can’t do what it thinks it can get away with. Any first year law student should know that.” Clemens110714_Durham

NYT has the story here.

And below are a few additional quick sketches I did in the courtroom today.

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Opening Statements in Roger Clemens Trial

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During his opening statement prosecutor Steve Durham showed jurors a photograph of several objects that included syringes, drug vials and three cotton balls – objects he said that had traces of both human growth hormone and Roger Clemens’ DNA. Clemens110713_Durham

“Mr. McNamee saved needles and cotton balls that he used to inject Mr. Clemens – he never completely trusted this man,” Durham told the jury.  Brian McNamee is Clemens former trainer, and now his chief accuser.Clemens110713_Hardin
Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin, a colorful Texas lawyer who likes to remind the jury that he once lived in DC and saw Roberta Flack here, told the jury that the evidenced had to have been manufactured by McNamee. “They have no corroborating evidence of McNamee,” Hardin said, and after an exhaustive investigation “they still didn’t have anything to connect him to steroids except Brian McNamee.”

WaPo story here.

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Roger Clemens Jury Selection Completed : 2 Men, 10 Women

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Opening statements in the star pitcher’s perjury trial are expected Wednesday morning.

The governments lead-off witnesses are expected to be House Parliamentarian Charles Johnson & committee staffer Phil Barnet, which should make for an interesting cross-examination since the defense is questioning whether the congressional investigation itself was proper – i.e., material.

John Schlegel story on MLB.com

 

 

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Seeking Reporter’s Testimony Government Cites Casey Anthony Trial

Arguing that that a reporter’s direct testimony about his source, in this case former CIA agent Jeffrey Alexander Sterling who has been charged under the Espionage Act of sharing classified information with NYT reporter James Risen, is important in obtaining a conviction despite a strong circumstantial case, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Welch told the judge “I hate to use this example, but I think we all know the difference, given what happened in Florida three days ago.” Sterling110706_Welch

Seeking to quash the subpoena for Risen’s testimony, his lawyer, Joel Kurtzberg told Judge Brinkema, “A reporter should be a last resort, not a first resort.” “They have an interest in law enforcement,” he said. “We have an interest in freedom of the press and ensuring that information flows to reporters.”  Sterling110706wide

The defendant in the case, Jeffrey Sterling, is seated second from left in the above drawing.

Politico’s Josh Gerstein has the story (from which I lifted the quotes-thanks Josh!) here.

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Warming Up for a Major League Perjury Trial

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In a motions hearing the day before jury selection is to begin in the trial of baseball living legend Roger Clemens the judge indicated that he may restrict the testimony of teammate Andy Pettitte and two others.  Judge Reggie Walton said testimony by the players that they thought that trainer Brian McNamee was injecting them with performance enhancing drugs could unfairly lead jurors to believe that Clemens thought so too.  Clemens is charged with lying to congress about his use of drugs. Clemens110705_Hardin

Clemens’ attorney, Rusty Hardin, also said that he wanted the jury to hear the tone of his client’s voice during a deposition taken before his congressional testimony, but that the government has only been able to provide a transcript of Clemens testimony;  the House of Representatives has declined to turn over the audio which it considers “proprietary”.

Judge Walton told the prosecutors to go back to the House and ask again for the audio recording, this time pointing out the considerable cost to the U.S. government of a delay in the trial.

WaPo story here.

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30 Years is Better Than 385, I Guess

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The government had asked for a prison sentence of 385 years for Lee Farkas, former chairman of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., who was recently convicted in a $3 billion mortgage fraud scheme that also caused the collapse of Colonial Bank – the sixth largest bank failure in U.S. history according the FDIC lawyer Tom O’Brian (pictured below). Farkas110630_O'Brian

Reading from a prepared statement Farkas told the judge, “I believe that everyone at Taylor, Bean & Whitaker and Colonial were acting together and in good faith,” He said he had to “take risks” and the company “grew too fast”….”I thought perhaps naively that the ship could right itself.” Never once did he mention the fraud scheme. Farkas110630

Saying “I do not detect one bit of actual remorse that what you did was unlawful, that you engaged in fraud, ” Judge Brinkema imposed a 30 year sentence and a $38.5 million forfeiture on the 58 year-old Farkas.

NYT story here.

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