"All he had to do was tell the truth," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Nedrow told a San Francisco jury earlier today as the prosecution summed up its case against former baseball great Barry Bonds, who is accused of lying to a grand jury about whether he knew used performance-enhancing drugs.
But Bonds' lawyer, Allen Ruby, argued that the government did not prove that his client knowingly lied. The San Jose Mercury News, which live-blogged today's court proceeding and has a big archive of material about the case, says Ruby also made the case that the government was out to get Bonds:
"Ruby insisted that Bonds answered every question, never asked to speak to a lawyer, despite the fact prosecutors 'clearly tried to intimidate him.' But Bonds, Ruby argued, was not intimidated. 'He wasn't. A lot of the venom in the government's pursuit here is that he was not intimidated. He was not subserviant. He was Barry.'
"And, Ruby argued, if 'highly trained' prosecutors thought Bonds was being evasive in his answers, 'Then, c'mon, ask another question.'
" 'He rambles,' Ruby said. 'But last time I checked, that isn't a crime.' "
NPR's Richard Gonzales, who has been covering the case, will be on All Things Considered later to talk about it. We'll add his report to this post when it's ready.
Richard told NPR's Newscast desk earlier that the crux of the prosecution's case is that "it's implausible" for Bonds to argue that he didn't know he had been injected with steroids by a trainer. "The government is alleging that he knew he was getting steroids and that he lied about it ... to salvage his career," Richard added.