The Justice Department suffered a blow today when the judge overseeing the perjury trial of former pitcher Roger Clemens declared a mistrial after prosecutors played a portion of a video that the judge deemed prejudicial. The Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said prosecutors erred in playing video of congressional testimony referring to statements made by the wife of a “critical” witness in the case.
“I am very troubled by this,” said Walton. The trial came to an abrupt end on just the second day of testimony and after it took a week to pick a jury. Walton will hear arguments in coming weeks about whether prosecutors can re-try Clemens without violating his constitutional right against double jeopardy. The request for a mistrial came from Clemens' lawyers after prosecutors mistakenly played a portion of testimony about the wife of former pitcher Andy Pettitte, a friend and former teammate of Clemens.