Washington (CNN) — Legendary baseball pitcher Roger Clemens was found not guilty Monday of lying to Congress during an investigation of steroid use among major league players.
The case against Clemens involved one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury. He was not charged with illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs, but his denial of such use was part of the case against him.
A federal jury found him not guilty on all six counts.
Clemens wiped his eyes after the verdict was announced, then hugged his likewise emotional sons. His lawyer, Rusty Hardin, meanwhile, gave a thumbs-up to the jury before leaving the courtroom.
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“Mr. Clemens, you’re free to go,” Judge Reggie Walton said.
Minutes later, Clemens thanked his family, lawyers and others who have supported him during the trial and in the years since he was accused of using illicit performance enhancing drugs.
“I put a lot of hard work into that career,” he told reporters, choking up on the steps of the federal courthouse in Washington. “I appreciate my teammates that came in, and all the e-mails and phone calls.”
Hardin thanked the jury, and lavished praise on his client for his demeanor and character.
“It has been four and a half years since we listened to a picture that doesn’t match up at all with the man we have grown to know and love,” the lawyer said. “He is not only a seven-time Cy Young winner, he’s a hell of a man.”
Members of the U.S. attorney’s office in the District of Columbia said little about the verdict Monday afternoon, beyond thanking the jury and investigators in a brief statement.
“We respect the judicial process and the jury’s verdict,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Six days earlier, federal prosecutor Courtney Saleski told jurors in closing arguments that Clemens “wanted to protect his brand, he wanted to protect his livelihood,” in denying the use of steroids during a 2008 investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives into the problem.
- Roger Clemens trial: Jurors take break from deliberations (washingtonpost.com)
- Jury scorecard for Roger Clemens perjury trial (suntimes.com)
- Clemens jury finishes first day of deliberations (mlb.mlb.com)
- Defense calls last witness, rests in Clemens trial (mlb.mlb.com)
- Govt: Roger Clemens covered up his steroid use (miamiherald.com)
- Michael McCann: Key questions before jury decides Roger Clemens’ fate (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Roger Clemens’ Wife Testifies She Took Human Growth Hormone (nytimes.com)
- Jury Set To Hear Closing Arguments In Roger Clemens Trial (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Witness testifies former Clemens trainer told him about saving syringes from injected baseball players – @newsday (newsday.com)
- Lawyer says jury should be ‘rewarding’ Clemens during closing arguments (nypost.com)