Roger Clemens wasn’t indicted by a federal grand jury for taking performance enhancing drugs, Roger Clemens was indicted for lying to federal agents and Congress. Just as ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich found out the hard way, lying to a federal agent is a federal crime. In Blago’s case, it was agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In Clemens case, it was Congressional investigators and a Congressional Committee.
Blago was convicted of lying to federal agents at the climax of his corruption trial on August 17th: It was the only one of 24 counts the jury could agree on. Under Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001 , it is illegal to lie to all agents of the federal government, including Congressional investigators. 18 U.S.C. Section 100 criminalizes knowingly and willfully making any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative or judicial branches of the United States government.
The beauty of 18 U.S.C. Section 100 for federal prosecutors is that you don’t even have to be read your Miranda rights. Lying from the gitgo is a crime, which most people don’t understand. But Blago should have — and Clemens should have kept his mouth shut.
There is a “material” requirement for such a false statement to be a criminal act. It must have the “natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing, the decision of the decision making body to which it is addressed.” United States v. Gaudin , 515 U.S. 506, 510 (1995). To be guilty of a crime under 18 U.S.C. Section 100, you must know that your statement is false at the time you make it.
According to attorney Solomon L. Wisenberg of the law firm Barnes & Thornburg LLP, “you do not have to know that lying to the government is a crime or even that the matter you are lying about is ‘within the jurisdiction’ of a government agency. United States v. Yermian , 468 U.S. 63, 69 (1984).”
Roger Clemens could not even make that feeble excuse. He came forward on his own to refute the testimony of his ex-trainer Brian McNamee, who testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he supplied Clemens with PEDs.
Clemens was not subpoenaed by the Congressional committee looking into to PED use in organized baseball. Congressional investigators and then Congressmen on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee he testified before repeatedly warned him to tell the truth, as the consequences would be severe. He went ahead and swore McNamee was lying, despite the fact that the investigators informed Clemens and his attorneys that they had strong physical evidence supporting McNamee’s charges. He went ahead and swore he did not use PEDs.
And now it has come to this.
Roger Clemens, according to Reuters, was indicted by a federal grand jury of six counts of perjury and making false statements to Congress and of obstructing a Congressional investigation. The counts are related to Clemens allegedly making false statements about his use of PEDs to congressional investigators in a deposition taken on February 5, 2008 deposition and perjuring himself before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee when he testified before it on February 13, 2008.
Clemens posted his reaction to the indictment on Twitter: “I have been accused of something I’m not guilty of. Let me be clear: I have never taken steroids or HGH.”
Was it another feeble excuse?
ABC News, Grand Jury Indicts Roger Clemens For Lying to Congress
Find Law for Legal Professionals, How to Avoid Going to Jail under 18 U.S.C. Section 1001 for Lying to Government Agents