Former Major League baseball pitcher Andy Pettitte leaves the Federal Court in Washington, Wednesday, May 2, 2012, after testifying in Roger Clemens; trial. Pettitte acknowledged under cross-examination Wednesday that he might have misunderstood Roger Clemens when Pettitte said he heard his former teammate say he used human growth hormone. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
WASHINGTON (AP) — With two short answers, Andy Pettitte called into question the validity of his testimony against Roger Clemens, part of a discouraging day for prosecutors in the retrial of the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.
After stumbling its way to a mistrial of Clemens last year, the government is struggling again in the retrial — to the point that the crux of Pettitte’s testimony might be tossed out. First, the exasperated judge criticized the questioning of Pettitte on Wednesday, then he ruled against prosecutors in another matter. Finally he cried out: “You’re taking positions that are totally absurd to me.”
Pettitte, Clemens’ longtime friend and former teammate, was on the stand for a second day in the trial that is to determine whether Clemens lied at a 2008 congressional deposition and hearing when he denied taking steroids and human growth hormone.
During cross-examination, Clemens’ lawyers got exactly the answers they wanted.
Might Pettitte have misunderstood when Clemens supposedly acknowledged using human growth hormone to Pettitte in a conversation during the 1999-2000 offseason?
“I could have,” Pettitte answered.
Is it fair to say there is a “50-50″ chance that Pettitte misunderstood?
“I’d say that’s fair,” Pettitte replied.
The government tried to salvage their witness, but prosecutor Steven Durham’s follow-up questions were lacking — at least in the minds of Clemens’ lawyers and, more importantly, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton. Clemens’ lawyers moved to strike Pettitte’s testimony about the 1999-2000 conversation as “insufficiently definitive.”
The judge seemed to agree, Login to read more