Seven-time Cy Young Award-winner Roger Clemens told a judge today he is not concerned that his lawyer once represented a potential witness against him in his upcoming trial for allegedly lying to Congress about use of performance enhancing drugs.
Rusty Hardin represented both Clemens and Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, a former teammate who is expected to be a key government witness for prosecutors.
Hardin advised both players before the December 2007 release of the Mitchell report, which accused both of using performance enhancing drugs.
Clemens said he had no problem with the potential conflict and understood his right to waive the issue as grounds for a legal appeal if he gets convicted at trial.
Pettitte has admitted to using human growth hormone on several occasions.
Hardin told Judge Reggie Walton that he brought in outside attorney Michael Attanasio from a different law firm to question Pettitte specifically because of the potential conflict.
In addition, Walton told prosecutors and Clemens' lawyer of a potential conflict of his own: Former baseball player Ken Griffey Sr., who grew up and played baseball with Walton in Donora, Pa., recently told the judge in their hometown that he thought Clemens was a "good guy" after learning Walton was handling Clemens' case, Walton said.
Walton told Griffey he could not discuss the case with him, he said.
Walton felt the need to bring the issue forward, adding, "I don't believe in any way he was trying to influence me."
Clemens' trial is still slated to begin July 6. There will be a pre-trial status conference on March 14.