Clemens, Edwards Verdicts Signal Feds ‘Out of Touch, Out of Control’


A Washington jury's rapid rejection of six perjury charges against Roger Clemens is more than a legal repudiation of federal prosecutors, says the Houston Chronicle. Legal scholars and political analysts agreed that the baseball great's acquittal was a clear political signal that 12 average Americans view the federal government as out of control and out of touch with what's important in their lives. “The verdict sends a strong message of government overreach,” said Bill Mateja, a Dallas lawyer and former Justice Department official during the George W. Bush administration. “There are certain areas where you have to ask yourself, 'Why is Congress doing that? What federal interest needed to be vindicated (by prosecuting Clemens)?”

The not guilty verdict — coming just a week after the Justice Department dismissed all criminal charges against former presidential candidate John Edwards after failing to win a conviction on campaign-finance law charges — puts federal prosecutors on notice that jurors in two very different cases question the expenditure of taxpayer dollars on cases of dubious legal import. “While these two cases are somewhat unique, they reflect a very real sense in America that prosecutorial witch hunts should stop,” said Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak, president of Potomac Strategy Group. “If there's no underlying crime, save us all the time and money.”

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