Clemens has demonstrably made two very bad choices. The first was his choice of a training partner.
The second was his choice of counsel.
According to the indictment handed down today, Clemens is charged with a “Martha Stewart” crime—lying to federal investigators (Congress, in this case, but a fed’s a fed, right?). He sat down in front of cameras and a Congressional panel, and denied that he’d ever taken any sort of performance enhancing drugs, even though the entire sport of baseball was populated with glow-in-the-dark sluggers and pitchers. mmmkay.
Lying to Congress is like a major no-no. But did he really lie to Congress, or is he guilty of failing to vet who he chooses to hang out with and who he chooses to represent him in certain legal proceedings?
Andy Pettite, Clemens’ former teammate and training partner, fingered Clemens for taking all kinds of exotic
mutant human growth substances after Clemens specifically denied such allegations before God, Congress and the American people.
But Clemens also chose Rusty Hardin as his counsel, and Rusty Hardin made a monumental mistake—he failed to keep his client from speaking. IANAL, but if I’m counsel for Clemens, no way am I letting my client testify.
Have him Plead the Fifth. Make him tell a Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb story. Instruct him to talk about America’s favorite pastime in pastoral and wistfully poetic language. But don’t you dare let him make a statement that could be used against him.
When a Roger Clemens denies taking drugs, somebody somewhere will find an Andy Pettite that saw him taking a Tylenol.
Gimme some feedback in the comments.