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The United States v. Roger Clemens trial, which is among the few things that would rank below the U.S. v. Iraq War on any list of “Current Events Americans Care About,” is underway in U.S. District Court in our fine city. Opening arguments began this morning in the perjury case against Clemens, yet another fallen star from baseball’s Dead Balls Era
ESPN reported that the jury of “Clemens’ peers” has the following stats: “10 women, two men, nine African American, three white.” The network’s on-air talent concluded the report by with a evidence-free assertion that, “It’s a jury that many experts said if it came down to this sort of composition it could be good for the defense.”
Wha? How’s that again?
Anyway, Judge Reggie B. Walton is hearing the Clemens case. If I were an ESPN expert, I’d say Walton could be good for the offense. He’s the same guy who oversaw United States v. Libby.
That’s the last big perjury show to play here in the Nation’s Capital.
And Scooter Libby, remember, was convicted in 2007 on four of five counts related to his lying to the Feds about outing Valerie Plame. Walton sentenced him to 30 months in the hole.
But wait! Libby’s jail sentence was quickly commuted by President George W. Bush, who said that the trial had taken enough of a toll on his friend and Dick Cheney‘s chief of staff, since it left Libby’s reputation “forever damaged” and his family “suffered immensely” during the prosecution.
Clemens, like Libby, is a good friend of the Bush family.
And in my role as an ESPN-caliber expert, I’ll assert the friendship with the Bush family and their history of commuting sentences of convicted perjurers who’ve suffered damage to their reputation and whose families have been hurt by federal government prosecution is good for the defense.
So at this stage of the trial, for those keeping score about what’s good for whom, it’s 2-1 defense. Keep the dial right here for this type of expert analysis throughout the trial.