The Associated Press reminds us today that even though Roger Clemens beat the criminal rap over lying to a federal grand jury, he’s still in court and potentially on the hook for defamation:
A magistrate judge in the civil case last week ordered lawyers for Clemens to turn over government documents to the plaintiff, former strength coach Brian McNamee, including 22 FBI reports and notes from an Internal Revenue Service agent that refer to Clemens’ alleged affairs. A status conference in the case is scheduled for Wednesday.
This is the suit brought by Brian McNamee, arising out of Clemens and his lawyer’s idiotic PR offensive in the wake of the Mitchell Report. Rather than just clam up or offer simple denials like just about every other named player, Clemens launched an offensive which (a) sought to cast his accuser as a lying grifter; and (b) opened the door for all manner of sleazy news to come out about his character and his past.
Some who defend Clemens would say that he shouldn’t have had to admit to doing anything if he didn’t do it. And I tend to be sympathetic to that argument. But by the same token, denying the allegations in the Mitchell Report did not require the over-the-top attacks Clemens and Hardin mounted against McNamee in late 2007 and early 2008. Attacks for which he is still paying in terms of his image and may soon be paying for in cash.