NPR logo Roger Clemens Pleads 'Not Guilty' To Lying To Congress


Roger Clemens Pleads 'Not Guilty' To Lying To Congress

Roger Clemens leaves U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

No surprises Monday at the federal district court arraignment of former baseball superstar Roger Clemens in Washington, D.C. (Except, of course, for Clemens showing up at the courthouse four hours before he had to, as we posted earlier.)

Clemens pleaded not guilty to charges that he lied to Congress when he testified in 2008 that he didn't illegally use performance enhancing drugs during his career.

An excerpt from the Associated Press:

Clemens, 48, standing before Judge Reggie Walton in a federal courtroom in Washington, said "not guilty, your honor,"in response to three counts of making false statements, two counts of perjury and one count of obstructing the U.S.Congress.

The judge set jury selection for April 5 for Clemens, who won the Cy Young Award seven times as his league's best pitcher.

If convicted, Clemens could face $1.5 million in fines and up to 30 years in prison, although federal sentencing guidelines recommend up to 21 months.

The start of the trial is a bit of unfortunate timing for MLB whose 2011 season starts Friday, April 1. (Yes, April Fool's Day.)

But at least the season doesn't start with the traditional Monday opener which would have meant the high-profile trial would have started the day after season-opener.