Judiciary

Judge in Roger Clemens Trial Snaps at Defense Lawyer, Blasts His Intimidating Look


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The judge overseeing the perjury trial of former pitcher Roger Clemens lost his patience with defense lawyer Rusty Hardin on Wednesday.

The dustup occurred during arguments on a motion to limit the scope of testimony by Eileen McNamee, the estranged wife of Clemens’ former strength trainer, report USA Today, the Associated Press and the New York Daily News. Jurors were not present at the time.

U.S. District Reggie Walton erupted in anger when Hardin complained he had never experienced so many objections in a case. “I don’t know how you practice down there in Texas,” Walton said.

“Same as anywhere else,” Hardin replied.

“Just as you can get mad, I can get mad too,” Walton said. “Don’t look at me like you’re going to intimidate me, sir.”

The New York Daily News says Walton “yelled” and “roared” during the exchange; USA Today also says he yelled. Walton and Hardin later apologized.

The AP story explains why the defense wanted McNamee to testify: “Brian McNamee, the chief prosecution witness against Clemens, had portrayed Eileen McNamee as a shrill wife whose incessant nagging prompted him to save medical waste from an alleged steroids injection of the pitcher in 2001. McNamee told the jury that she was worried he’d be the fall guy if there were a drug investigation. … Called to testify by Clemens’ lawyers on Wednesday, Eileen McNamee seemed the antithesis of the woman described by her husband. Soft-spoken and calm, she said she didn’t even know back then that her husband was injecting players with steroids and human growth hormone, or HGH.”

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