Roger Clemens may soon be exchanging his fancy liar clothes for a nice prison jumper, as today the federal government read a 19 page indictment against the disgraced power pitcher which included 6 separate charges of perjury, obstruction, and making false statements to investigators.
Each charge carries a maximum of 5 years in federal prison.
According to the United States attorney’s office, Clemens faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, but under the current sentencing guidelines, a conviction would likely bring 15-21 months.Clemens’s allegedly false testimony came in a public hearing in which Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee, testifying under oath, directly contradicted each other about whether Clemens had used the banned substances.
“Americans have a right to expect that witnesses who testify under oath before Congress will tell the truth,” United States Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said in a statement announcing the indictment. “Our government cannot function if witnesses are not held accountable for false statements made before Congress. Today the message is clear: if a witness makes a choice to ignore his or her obligation to testify honestly, there will be consequences.”
The authorities will not seek to arrest Clemens. According to a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office, Clemens will be asked to appear at arraignment through a judicial summons. The spokesman said that a date had not been set for the arraignment although it could be set later today. The congressional hearing at the heart of the indictment came just two months after McNamee first tied Clemens to the use of the substances in George J. Mitchell’s report on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. After Mitchell released the report, Clemens claimed McNamee made up the allegations.
From the New York Daily News:
Clemens was one of the greatest pitchers of all time and once a certain first-ballot lock for the Hall of Fame, and a trial is sure to become a huge spectacle, all but assuring that a long train of witnesses will be summoned to testify, including Pettitte, who has verified McNamee’s claims about Pettite’s use of HGH. Other teammates and club officials could also be called to the stand.
Clemens also told Congress during the hearing that McNamee had injected his wife, Debbie, with human growth hormone, but that he had not been present when the trainer shot her up in the belly button. McNamee, as the Daily News first reported, told investigators that Clemens had summoned him from the guest house he was staying in at Clemens’ home to administer the injection. McNamee also said he saw vials of HGH in a shaving kit in Clemens’ bathroom as he prepared to give Debbie Clemens the HGH. McNamee believed the HGH had been sent to Clemens’ home by Radomski, who later provided prosecutors with shipping receipts for a package to Clemens’ address.
To secure the indictment, Butler presented the grand jury with what one source close to the case called “overwhelming” evidence that McNamee’s claims were true.
Even before the Feb. 13 congressional hearing began, then committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said Clemens had made statements that were had said things that were “untrue” and “implausible.”
Thursday, then Tom Davis, the panel’s ranking Republican, told the Daily News that he and Waxman had been approached by federal investigators asking about materiality of Clemens’ statements to the committee.
“I remember sitting in my office with him and saying, ‘Whatever you do, don’t lie.’ We made it clear, don’t lie.” The Justice Department initiated its Clemens perjury investigation two weeks after the February 2008 hearing, where Clemens licked his lips nervously as he was confronted with evidence and testimony that undermined his claims.
Even a sentence of less than 2 years in federal prison and a $ 1.5 M fine would be devestating punishments for Clemens, once revered, for whom prison will be especially humbling, and who, we hear, is struggling financially due to court costs and legal fees.
Of course, Clemens could have saved himself all the trouble by taking Tom Davis’ advice and telling the truth, but the Rocket would rather try to make everyone else into the liar, including McNamee, who luckily kept DNA evidence on Clemens, who obviously isn’t trustworthy.
And none of this bodes well for Clemens in civil court either, where McNamee should seek a substantial payday against the once exalted player who began a sexual relationship with country singer Mindy McCready when she was only 15 years old.
Wonder what Lance Armstrong thought of Clemens’ indictment?
Don’t lie under oath.