WASHINGTON -- Lawyers are scheduled today to make opening statements in federal court that they've recalibrated for the "do-over" in the perjury trial of former Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens.
As Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Durham and defense lawyer Rusty Hardin lay out their cases on charges that Clemens lied to Congress about his steroid use, they will reveal changes they've made in the nine months since a mistrial was caused by prosecutors showing banned evidence.
"They are getting a do-over, and they are getting a do-over because of their own misconduct," Hardin said in a recent hearing as he noted that the prosecution had conducted 50 new interviews since last year.
Durham, under great pressure after last year's mistake, is expected to lay out to jurors a streamlined, strengthened and more cautious road map to his evidence.
But he might have to adjust quickly if Hardin wins his motion to limit the testimony of Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte about who gave him human growth hormone.
Hardin recently told the court he will deliver a "very different" statement this year, adding that, after once again reading last year's opening, he didn't like it.
He also said he will challenge the reliability of a key piece of prosecution evidence that he laughed off last year: a syringe and swabs containing Clemens' DNA and steroids.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said he will rule on motions and the lawyers will select the final 12 jurors and four alternates Monday morning. He said he expected opening statements in the afternoon.
Clemens was indicted two years ago on six counts of obstruction of Congress, making false statements and perjury on charges he lied about steroid use to a U.S. House committee.
This year's trial will again pit Clemens and his insistence that he never used performance-enhancing drugs against his former trainer Brain McNamee, who said Clemens did.
Durham will outline much of the same key evidence to establish Clemens used steroids as proof he lied to Congress.
It will include testimony by McNamee that he injected Clemens with the drugs; the used syringe and swabs; and Pettitte's testimony that Clemens told him he had used human growth hormone.
As Durham takes aim at Clemens, Hardin will again put McNamee on trial. "At the end of the day, the evidence is never going to be able to get away from the fact that Brian McNamee, to put it delicately, is a liar," Hardin said last year.
Like last year, the two sides again will offer different timelines for the case.
Durham starts in 1998 when Clemens and McNamee met. Last year he stressed their "10-year relationship." Hardin starts in 2007 when charges by McNamee first appeared. He called it a "small sliver of time" in a storied pitching career.
After the mistrial, Durham expanded his team to include lawyers Courtney Selaski and Gilberto Guerrero.
Prosecutors also won rulings from Walton to rein in Clemens' colorful Texas lawyer, including making him refrain from schmoozing with potential jurors as he did last time.
The prosecution also won a ruling barring Hardin from using argumentative expressions in his opening statement.
They specifically referred to a passage last year in which Hardin called the case against Clemens a "classic example" of "chasing a flea on an elephant."