It was announced on Monday that former Major League Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens was acquitted on all charges of perjury regarding his testimony to Congress. During his testimony, Clemens told Congress that he did not use performance-enhancing drugs. Clemens was very quiet and emotional following the verdict saying,
“I’m very thankful. It’s been a hard five years.”
The verdict in the case came back after the jury deliberated for just 10 hours over a span of a couple of days. The trial lasted 10 weeks and was the second against Clemens after the first one was ruled a mistrial. During his 24-year career, Clemens won seven Cy Young Awards playing with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and the Houston Astros. Late in the day on Monday, as the foreman of the jury read the acquittal for the final count, Clemens rubbed a tear from his eye and bit his lower lip.
Outside of the courthouse, Clemens said the following, “I put a lot of hard work into that career.”
Rusty Hardin, the chief lawyer for Clemens, said, “All of us had told Roger there wouldn’t be a verdict for two, three or four days, so he was actually working out with his sons almost at the Washington Monument when he got the call that there was a verdict.”
A statement was released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that said, “The jury has spoken in this matter, and we thank them for their service. We respect the judicial process and the jury’s verdict.”
Clemens had been charged with two counts of perjury, three counts of making false statements and one count of obstructing Congress when he testified in February of 2008 at a deposition. The counts charged to Clemens came from his repeated denial that he used human growth hormone during his career, which included 354 victories.
In front of Congress in 2008, Clemens said, “no matter what we discuss here today, I’m never going to have my name restored.” All of this will be decided this fall, when the Hall of Fame ballot will include Clemens’ name for the first time. Clemens ranks third all-time with 4,672 strikeouts. The case presented by the government centered around Clemens’ longtime strength coach, Brian McNamee, who testified that he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and injected him with HGH in 2000.
After Clemens testified in front of Congress, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Henry Waxman (Democrat from California), referred Clemens for further investigation.
“The committee referred Mr. Clemens to the Justice Department because we had significant doubts about the truthfulness of his testimony in 2008,” Waxman said. “The decision whether Mr. Clemens committed perjury is a decision the jury had to make and I respect its decision.”
Ranking committee member Tom Davis, a Republican from Virgina, said, ” I think he’s gone through enough. We did the appropriate thing in referring it over to Justice. But hopefully this will put it behind him. He’s a good citizen.”