Steroids and Roger Clemens: Reports of Indictment Greatly Exaggerated

The

New York Daily News

posted

a story

this weekend on the imminent indictment of Roger Clemens for lying to Congress. I’ve been largely complimentary of the

Daily News

in the Clemens matter – in fact, I believe most of the stuff that we’ve learned this year about the Rocket and steroids have come from the

Daily News

. But that said, I’ve got some problems with this story.

There are no sources from inside the Justice Department or Team Rocket or Team McNamee stating the indictment is just around the corner. There is no evidence of any kind in support of the claim.

I don’t think the Daily News is wrong. I just think that it’s jumping the gun.

The reporters lay out the general facts, as known: McNamee, Pettitte, the syringes, the testimony. They get some legal professors and experts to opine on the evidence, and while some say that what’s there is rather weak, they all agree that a good prosecutor could get an indictment out of it.

And this is a correct assumption. There’s a legal saying that says a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich if so instructed by a prosecutor, and there’s truth to this because the legal standard for a grand jury indictment is not the same legal standard as that required for a conviction. So I’m all in agreement that what is out there could easily get the Rocket an indictment for lying to Congress.

But I don’t think the indictment is imminent, at least not based on what the Daily News reports. And I also don’t think the Justice Department could get a conviction based on the evidence as we now know it.

So if someone starts telling you the Rocket is about to get indicted, and his basis is this story, then tell him he's wrong. And he's wrong because the Daily News is wrong. The story is conjecture with no solid factual evidence. It’s the ham sandwich for a grand jury, only it’s lacking the ham, and the bread. – John Royal

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