WASHINGTON -- The defense rested Monday in the Roger Clemens perjury trial without the former Yankees pitching star taking the witness stand, and closing arguments will be made Tuesday.
The trial was billed by defense attorneys as Clemens' day in court. But as the defense rested its case, the judge asked him if he chose to remain silent. Speaking for the first time, Clemens said, "Yes, sir, I am not testifying."
The nine-week trial ended without his testimony, though his accuser and former trainer, Brian McNamee of Long Beach, spent more than a week on the witness stand, much of it under tough defense cross-examination.
Expected to last four to six weeks, the trial stretched out as both sides battled every step of the way, especially on key testimony of Yankee pitcher Andy Pettitte and on the scientific tests of syringes and swabs that McNamee offered to prove he injected Clemens.
The trial featured several former baseball players, coaches and trainers praising Clemens; scientists lecturing the jury on steroid and DNA testing; and, on the same day, the testimony of the wives of both McNamee and Clemens.
Tuesday, after 32 trial days and a combined 46 witnesses, the prosecution and defense will have two hours each to argue whether Clemens lied when told Congress four years ago that he never used steroids and human growth hormone as McNamee said.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton will then deliver jury instructions for deciding whether the government proved the six-count indictment, including one count of obstructing Congress that includes 13 alleged false statements by Clemens.
Monday Walton rejected two defense motions to dismiss the case. But he said he would consider dismissing one of those false statements: Clemens' denial that he attended a June 1998 barbecue at teammate Jose Canseco's house.
The defense said the statement had no real connection to the case.
But the government argued the House panel that referred Clemens for prosecution said if that statement is not proven, then the credibility of Major League Baseball's Mitchell Report claiming steroids in the sport are rampant would collapse like a "house of cards."
The cases put on by both sides leave much to be decided by the jury.
Pettitte testified that Clemens told him in 1999 or 2000 he used HGH, but then agreed with the defense it was fair to say it's "50-50" he could be wrong.
McNamee's wife denied she urged him to save syringes as protection, but also was furious with Clemens for revealing her son's medical condition.
Clemens' wife backed his story about her HGH shot, but said he didn't think it was bad.