Costing Millions of Dollars we need to Aid Ailing Economy – BOHEMIA, NY, Apr 20
“The Obama Administration is spending millions of dollars on a stiff-necked, wrong-headed quest to redeem the failure of its Justice Department to convict baseball player Roger Clemens the first time around. This, at a time when the country can ill afford to create more debt,” said Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
“Our country is in a serious debt crisis and we don’t need to increase our deficit by investigating ball players. If you want to investigate anyone, continue looking into how poorly our government agencies have been managing their budgets. As the GSA Las Vegas incident has shown, there is an awful lot of wasteful spending of taxpayer money going on.”
The judge declared a mistrial last July in the Clemens action almost before that trial began when inept federal prosecutors introduced faulty evidence. U.S. Judge Reggie Walton went so far as to chide the government’s attorneys for making a mistake that “even a first-year law student” could have avoided.
During jury selection for the retrial, Judge Walton commented on the expense of the new prosecution, noting that last year jurors complained that the government’s persistence in seeking to convict Clemens was a waste of taxpayer dollars. He added that “we have some significant problems in this country that are not being addressed by this Congress.”
The seven-time Cy Young award winner had been accused of lying about steroid use during a 2008 Congressional hearing.
AMAC chief Weber pointed out that President Clinton “got away scot-free” after lying to the American people about not having sex with “that woman,” so why should Roger Clemens or any other athlete stand trial if they lied about taking steroids? What is the Justice Department thinking?”
Some observers speculate that the government seeks to redeem itself after losing the case in the first trial. “In fact, the Feds had two lawyers handling the case then. Now, they’ve assigned no less than five prosecutors in a belt-and-suspenders attempt at vindication.”
If that’s the case, said Weber, this is “a true miscarriage of justice, because it’s costing millions of our dollars that could otherwise be used to aid the ailing economy. And, if they can spare the money, just think about how many low income seniors could make better use of it.”
He said the government should drop the case and let the President call in the heads of all the sports Leagues and ask them to deal with the situation. “Let the leagues issue strict new rules on drugs, which they can enforce. We have got more important things to do.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue and other topics important to older Americans.