Judge Limits Testimony From Andy Pettitte, Former Teammates In Roger Clemens’ Perjury Trial
It would be explosive testimony — certainly enough to shake what remains of a friendship to its core, not to mention a courtroom. However, there's no telling how much — if any — will be admissible. And even so, it's not like no one saw it coming.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, who will preside over Roger Clemens' perjury trial scheduled to begin with jury selection tomorrow, has said that he will limit testimony from the pitcher's former teammates on the New York Yankees — among them Andy Pettitte, who was a good friend of The Rocket's for much of their careers.
Statements from Pettitte, Chuck Knoblauch and Mike Stanton were intended to bolster the credibility of Clemens' former trainer, Brian McNamee, who is now a key witness for the prosecution. However, according to Walton, testimony from the three men that they received injections from McNamee could unfairly influence jurors and be "unduly prejudicial" to Clemens.
Pettitte's testimony could still prove especially damning, however, as he is the only witness other than McNamee who claims that Clemens spoke to him about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
One thing sets Clemens’s trial apart from the other drug cases involving baseball stars that drew national attention: his former close friend and loyal teammate Andy Pettitte, a man Clemens considered his little brother, could be the witness who brings him down.
While that could very well be true, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise. After all, according to former Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, Pettitte's sworn affidavit that Clemens admitted using human growth hormone played a critical role in a federal grand jury's decision to indict Clemens on perjury charges.
Now, this statement by Pettitte was submitted in lieu of testifying in front of Congress. So yes, the sight of Pettitte actually on the witness stand only feet away from his former friend and teammate might come as a shock to some — especially those who witnessed firsthand their camaraderie on and off the field.
But beyond that, there should be no surprises — certainly not that Clemens and Pettitte don't talk anymore, and certainly not anything that the latter says while under oath.
Really, the only thing that can surprise in this trial is the jury.
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