Perez: Latest on the Clemens trial
A daily recap of the Roger Clemens trial and the day’s happenings in court:
Background: The seven-time Cy Young winner has been charged with perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress for telling a House subcommittee under oath in 2008 that he never used steroids or human growth hormone during his 24 seasons in Major League Baseball. He could face prison time if convicted; the maximum penalty being a $1.5 million fine and 30 years in prison, although he likely would get only a maximum of 21 months in prison under current sentencing guidelines.
What happened Monday: US District Court Judge Reggie Walton was a little more lenient when it came qualifying potential jurors. One woman did not answer a single question on the 82-item questionnaire, but the former telephone operator and Washington Post mailroom employee was kept on. A cousin of former major leaguer Al Bumbry, who also coached Clemens, was also asked to return. Seventeen more potential jurors were seated on Monday as they reached a pool of 35, one less than the desired 36.
Stretching out: Rusty Hardin, Clemens’ lead attorney, asked one potential juror whether it was too late for him to start yoga. (Hardin turns 60 in October.) "It’s never too late," the woman responded. She was one of the two yoga teachers who became part of the jury pool on Monday. "I would recommend against it," the second yoga instructor told Walton when asked if those in yoga used steroids.
Steroids are at issue: Hardin repeatedly asked potential jurors if they knew that this case isn’t about steroids or HGH, but rather about lying to Congress. But Walton said, "That’s not accurate." He said jurors will have to determine if Clemens knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs to determine if he lied to Congress.
What it all means: If all goes well on Tuesday, opening statements should be held on Wednesday.
What’s coming up next: A hearing is set for 11 a.m. ET on Tuesday, where some pre-trial motions will be heard. The 35 jurors will be pared down to 12 and as many as four alternates in the afternoon, although there could be as few as three alternates if the two sides use all their preemptory and alternate strikes to dismiss jurors. (There is also a problem with one potential juror who may have lied about his criminal record that will be resolved on Tuesday.)