Roger Clemens’ Lawyer: The Fact is Roger Didn’t Use That Stuff
To Rusty Hardin, lawyer for Roger Clemens, the jury’s decision to acquit him of all of his charges last week came simply because his peers on that panel saw that Clemens not only didn’t lie to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs, he simply never used them. Period.
Perhaps we’ll never know the whole truth of the matter, but if you believe Hardin, he’s believed his client during the entire ordeal. But, it’s going to be pretty tough to sway public opinion, particularly when his argument for why he believes Clemens was because he’s always been adamant and convincing about it.
Rusty Hardin joined WEEI in Boston with The Big Show to discuss how he won the Clemens case, how he knows Clemens didn’t use drugs, going up against the government, Andy Pettitte’s seemingly changing stories, the court of public opinion and Roger Clemens’ Hall of Fame chances.
How did you win this case?:
“I think it had a lot to do with the quality of that team, not me. … There were four other lawyers from my firm involved, a legal assistant … but the bottom [line] of it is, no one ever wanted to listen to us. Roger didn’t do this. I’ve always said, all the way back at Congress, I’ve gone from being the worst lawyer in America and the favorite punching boy of ESPN and others, but always because they thought he was guilty. The fact was, what we knew was, was Roger didn’t use that stuff. … These people, in less than 10 hours, they didn’t just find him not guilty, they told us afterwards, they were convinced he didn’t use the stuff.”
How do you know he didn’t use PEDs?:
“Same way you guys interview people and make up your mind. We looked at all the of evidence, listened to him repeatedly. I don’t think, in 37 years, we’ve ever hot-boxed anybody as much as Roger, always telling him the same thing. From the night before the Mitchell Report, if you did it, just step forward and admit it and it’ll move on. … Roger, in every different form we ever tried with him, not only was he adamant, he was so personally believable. Then, if that’s not enough, we start looking at all the evidence and interviewing people and we became absolutely convinced that Roger treating with steroids or HGH was so inconsistent with his 24-year career.”
Did you feel confident you’d win the case especially considering the government’s recent track record against potential steroid users?:
“We felt good about it, I have to admit, but the problem with it is, anytime you put it up for a trial, it’s a crapshoot and anything can go wrong. … The first thing the jury asked for when they got back there was the audio of his depositions [for Congress]. If you listen to him talking, you can tell right away that is not a guy lying or trying to mislead them. … It was very persuasive to them, along with the evidence.”
What’s your take on Andy Pettitte and why his story surrounding Clemens has changed?:
“It never changed. That’s what everybody misunderstood. That deposition process that I was telling you about, Andy swore to the Congressional investigators, the week before he testified, in the opening part of his testimony that Roger, in 1999, he believed Roger had told him that he and Roger had tried HGH. In 2005 Andy swore, when the hearings were going on, he goes to Roger because Andy had tried HGH, though he never told Roger, and he was concerned about the media coming to him. … Roger says, according to Andy, I’d tell them the truth: I never used any of that stuff. … We always knew that Andy, in his own mind, wasn’t sure at all.”
Do you get a sense for if people still think Roger is still guilty in the court of public opinion?:
“I think there’s a sizable segment that does [think he's guilty]. … Public figures get a lot of breaks, as you know, from different people when everything is riding well. But if a public person has serious allegations made about them, the allegations stick no matter what ultimately happens. The reality is Roger has always known that once those allegations were made, that he was never going to be able to get out from under them with a lot of people.”
Do you think he’ll get into the Hall of Fame and does he care about that?:
“I have no idea. The answer to whether he cares about it, is he was never driven by that. … What he wanted was to try to not only be the best, but to have people perceive him as the best. The Hall of Fame is a bonus. Would he like to be in there? I’m sure anybody would.”
Listen to Rusty Hardin on WEEI in Boston here