WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday warned Roger Clemens, his lawyers, prosecutors and possible witnesses against making statements that could sway potential jurors about the charges that he lied to the U.S. Congress about steroid use.
The former baseball great was charged last week with making false statements, perjury and obstructing Congress when he denied under oath in 2008 before Congress accusations he had used steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.
Clemens last week denied any wrongdoing through the social media website Twitter, while his lawyer held a news conference to deny the charges against the former pitching star. Federal prosecutors also issued a press release unveiling the charges.
Saying it was "not surprising" the parties had spoken about the indictment, District Judge Reggie Walton said in a court order he would "not tolerate such behavior from anyone" involved in the case.
He ordered the two sides as well as potential witnesses and their lawyers to "refrain from making any further statements about this case to the media or in public settings outside the courtroom" that would likely have an impact on the case.
Walton has yet to set a date for Clemens, 48, and now living in Houston, to be arraigned on the six-count indictment. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison, although federal sentencing guidelines suggest up to 21 months in prison.
(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Peter Cooney)