(Reuters) – Pitching star Roger Clemens on Tuesday asked a federal judge to make the government pay for some of his legal tab in his steroids case after a mistrial was declared because of a miscue by prosecutors.
Clemens asked that Judge Reggie Walton order the government to pay for his legal fees and expenses incurred between June 25 and July 14, arguing the prosecutors wasted time and money to resolve the allegations.
In July, the judge declared a mistrial in the opening days of the trial because prosecutors showed jurors a video clip that included material he had explicitly banned from the trial unless the information was brought up by the defense team.
Clemens was indicted in 2010 for perjury, making false statements and obstruction over his testimony to Congress in 2008 in which he denied ever taking steroids and human growth hormones. Prosecutors say they have evidence to the contrary.
“Only Mr. Clemens directly paid out of his personal funds to prepare for trial, resources now wasted through no fault of his own,” Clemens’ lawyers argued in a brief motion.
“The court can and should make the government, the party responsible for the need for a second trial, pay for the waste and loss incurred in connection with the first one,” they said. They did not say how much they were seeking but legal fees can easily run thousands of dollars per day, if not more.
Clemens’ team said that there is precedent for such payment. A spokesman for the prosecutors declined to comment.
During a hearing in September, Walton granted prosecutors a new trial after one of the prosecutors made an emotional plea to the judge that he made an unintentional mistake. Clemens’ lawyers argued the case should have been dismissed.
The judge raised the possibility of reimbursement at the hearing, saying “I think fundamental fairness would obviously require that he be reimbursed for those expenses, but sometimes fundamental fairness doesn’t bear out when it comes to legal issues that a court has to resolve.”
Clemens’ legal team also noted that prosecutors recently asked the defense team for additional information, but did not disclose what was requested.
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky in Washington; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)