Right Field

Issa Avoids Subpoena at Clemens Trial

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton ruled today that Congressman Darrell Issa — the tenacious, outspoken conservative of California’s 49th Congressional District — would not be forced to testify at Roger Clemens’ ongoing perjury trial.

The defense hoped to call Congressman Issa based on comments he made in 2008 regarding the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s initial investigation of Clemens. At the time, Issa lambasted then-Chairman Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) about the very fact that the Committee was taking time to look into the matter, and labeled the event as “all about entrapping Roger Clemens.” The defense hoped Issa would cast doubt on the merit and legitimacy of the proceedings.

Despite the attempt, Walton resoundingly rejected the subpoena: “It’s not even clear what Mr. Issa would say if he were in fact called to testify. . . . [He would not provide] competent testimony to negate the legitimacy of the hearings that were held by the committee.”

Moreover, noting the fact that Issa very much considers Clemens guilty, the judge added some stinging advice that may concern Clemens about the prospects of his counsel: “If I were in your shoes, I would be very loath to call him considering all the things he said. . . . When he said he believes your client did lie . . . [it] seems to me that would be a death wish.”

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