Roger Clemens, the former New York Yankees pitcher on trial for allegedly lying to Congress about using steroids and human growth hormone, asked a judge to throw out some testimony of former teammate Andy Pettitte.
Under questioning May 2, Pettitte said it was possible he misunderstood Clemens in a conversation about use of HGH during a workout more than a decade ago. Pettitte agreed under cross-examination that there was a 50 percent chance he didn’t understand what Clemens had told him.
The testimony “is not definitive enough to qualify to be an admissible statement” and “the court should not allow the jury to consider an alleged ‘admission’ that has all the weight of a coin flip,” Clemens’s lawyers said in papers filed today in federal court in Washington.
Clemens, 49, is charged with one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury. He faces as long as 21 months in prison if convicted.
Pettitte, 39, testified that during an offseason workout, “Roger mentioned to me that he had taken HGH and that it could help with recovery. That’s really all I remember of the conversation.”
‘Could Have’ Misunderstood
On May 2, Pettitte testified that he was no longer sure Clemens told him he used HGH and that he “could have” misunderstood Clemens in that exchange, which took place sometime in 1999 or 2000.
The testimony “falls short” of the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard for admissibility, Clemens’s lawyers said in the filing, citing federal evidence rules.
They also cited “the risk of undue prejudice” to Clemens if U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton doesn’t strike the testimony, and said allowing it “would be terribly unfair given the limitations Mr. Pettitte put on his own memory.”
The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).