WASHINGTON (AP) – In their final attempt to convince jurors that Roger Clemens lied to Congress, prosecutors basically called his wife a liar, too.
Prosecutor Courtney Saleski used closing arguments to challenge Debbie Clemens’ version of how and when she got a shot of human growth hormone and tried to bolster government witness Andy Pettitte in the process – just before the case went to the jury.
In his closing, Clemens’ lawyer Rusty Hardin characterized the case as “a horrible, horrible overreach by the government and everyone involved” and hammered away at the government’s evidence.
Jurors, who met for only 15 minutes Tuesday, resume deliberations Wednesday afternoon.
Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher, is charged with perjury, making false statements and obstructing Congress when he denied under oath in 2008 that he took steroids or HGH. The government’s chief witness, Clemens’ longtime strength coach Brian McNamee, said he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001 and with HGH in 2000.
Debbie Clemens testified last week that she received a shot of HGH from McNamee, without Roger Clemens’ knowledge. McNamee had testified that Roger Clemens was present for the shot, and one of the false statements Clemens is alleged to have made is that his wife was injected without his prior knowledge or approval.
Saleski called Debbie Clemens’ version “not true” and argued that her account went against her basic nature. Saleski said Debbie Clemens lists three rules on her website: Plan ahead, be practical and use common sense – so one wouldn’t expect her to take the “reckless” step of taking a “risky injection of a prescription drug” on her own.
“The truth is that Roger Clemens was there, as Brian McNamee told you,” Saleski insisted. McNamee had testified that Debbie Clemens looked at her husband and said, “I can’t believe you’re going to let him do this to me,” and Clemens responded: “He injects me. Why can’t he inject you?”