Roger Clemens trial opens with jury selection
Prosecutors and defense lawyers on Wednesday disclosed the identities of more than a dozen high-profile potential witnesses in the perjury trial of Roger Clemens, the former baseball star charged with lying to Congress about taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Among those named were former Boston Red Sox star Wade Boggs and former New York Yankees Jason Giambi and David Cone.
Prosecutors also named Jorge Posada, currently a Yankees designated hitter and catcher, and the team’s general manager, Brian Cashman.
The names emerged as the jury selection process, expected to continue at least through Monday, began in the District’s federal court.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers must disclose the identities of possible witnesses and people who may be named to potential jurors to avoid conflicts of interest.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who is presiding over the trial, also asked the juror pool 82 questions that probed their knowledge of the charges against Clemens, their associations with law enforcement and their feelings about the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens, whose seven Cy Young Awards are a major league record, was indicted last year on charges of perjury, obstruction of Congress and making false statements related to testimony he gave before a House committee in 2008. The former star pitcher testified in depositions and during a nationally televised hearing before a House committee that he had never taken steroids or human growth hormone.
At the same hearing, former trainer Brian McNamee said he injected Clemens with those substances and the former star pitcher knew what he was getting.
During a brief hearing before jury selection began, Walton expressed irritation at Congress for refusing to hand over an audiotape of a deposition given by Clemens to House investigators.
The House provided a transcript of the interview but not the audiotape, which a House lawyer has described as a “backup” to help the stenographer.
The only way to authorize the transfer of the tape is to obtain a resolution from the House, the lawyer said.
Walton urged the lawyer to get the House to release the tape in the interests of ensuring a fair trial for Clemens.
The tape may help prove that Clemens did not obstruct Congress, his lawyers say.