The best thing that could happen to Brian McNamee in the Clemens defamation suit happened yesterday. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled that Rusty Hardin could remain as the Rocket’s attorney in the case, despite the fact that one of the main witnesses, Andy Pettitte, was also represented by Rusty Hardin for a short period of time.
Oh, don’t be fooled. There is a conflict of interest regarding Andy Pettitte, but the judge ruled, correctly, that Brian McNamee was not the correct party to request Hardin’s removal from the case.
Rusty Hardin wasn’t available to give a quote, but another of Rusty’s underlings did speak to the Chron: “We are obviously happy with Judge Ellison's thoughtful and well-reasoned opinion,” the minion said. “We have always taken our ethical obligations to Andy Pettitte seriously and will continue to do so in the future.”
But as with everything else on this matter, Rusty and his minion are wrong about their ethical obligations. Because, as Judge Ellison implied in his opinion, if Andy Pettitte decides to seek Rusty’s removal because of the conflict of interest, the judge will grant it.
At the moment, Pettitte’s attorneys are not commenting publicly on this matter, but sources are telling the New York Daily News that Pettitte and his legal team are hoping that they won’t have to get involved because they believe that Judge Ellison will dismiss the case.
Now, if I were McNamee’s attorneys, I’d probably be praying that Pettitte doesn’t object to Rusty, because Rusty’s legal moves in his defense of Clemens have been amateurish, and Federal Judges, like Ellison, don’t quite go in for the cornpone theatrics of the type that Rusty likes to employ. As for me, I’m hoping Rusty stays in because I think McNamee lawyer Richard Emery is correct in his assessment that “[t]his case will be more unseemly and more inappropriate if litigated with Hardin in it.”
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And I think that’s exactly what all of us sitting on the sidelines are hoping for: unseemly and inappropriate.
In other Rocket news, the Daily News is also reporting that Rocket spent the weekend huddled with his family as they discussed whether or not to drop the case.
But it might not matter if the suit is dropped because the Feds have announced that they plan to start talking to the Rocket mistresses. And as Barry Bonds can probably attest, nothing good happens when the mistress talks to the Feds, especially an aggrieved mistress.
And there is also more bad news for Team Rocket, as it appears the Feds are going after key Rocket witness Jose Canseco, and that they are vigorously questioning whether he blackmailed players to keep them out of his latest opus. For some reason, Team Rocket has made Canseco the key to their defense. It’s beginning to appear more and more as if Mr. Canseco is someone who can’t be relied on. And I’m beginning to wonder if maybe Team Rocket might have done something that Magglio Ordonez refused to do, which is pay off Canseco. – John Royal