A year ago Saturday, a federal grand jury in San Francisco first charged Barry Bonds with lying about his use of steroids and human growth hormone, and in the ensuing months, bits and pieces of the government's evidence have emerged during pretrial skirmishing. That evidence leaves little doubt Bonds used the drugs . . .Hard case to prove on the crappy transcript they have. In most cases like this, the feds would try to strike a deal and the defendant would probably be inclined to take it. Ain't gonna happen here, however. The prosecutors have scorched the Earth trying to get at Barry's family and friends (and family of friends) and the P.R. blitz associated with every move in the buildup to the indictment was just too great. To give up now would be a humiliation for the prosecution even if it is the right move.
. . . But Bonds' use of performance-enhancing drugs is only the first half of the case against him. The federal prosecutors must also show he lied about his use when he testified before a federal grand jury, and the government's case is less impressive in that area.
Although two prosecutors interrogated Bonds in the grand jury room and Bonds was there alone (his lawyers were barred from the room under federal rules), the prosecutors' questions were occasionally inept and allowed Bonds to avoid the kind of
definitive answers that would be a solid foundation for a perjury charge.
And if I was Bonds? I'd tell 'em to pound sand.