Rusty Hardin, the prominent Texas attorney who successfully defended Roger Clemens on charges that he lied to Congress when he claimed he never used performance-enhancing drugs, now has another prominent athlete as a client: Adrian Peterson.
Peterson, who was arrested over the weekend in Houston and charged with resisting arrest for refusing to leave a bar when an off-duty officer working security asked him to, has hired Hardin to represent him in the case.
That’s an awfully expensive hired gun for Peterson, considering that he’s charged with nothing more than a misdemeanor that the Houston Police Department says will likely be resolved by paying a small fine. But Peterson — who didn’t seem overly concerned this weekend, smiling while his mug shot was taken and writing on Twitter that the truth would set him free — can certainly afford to pay for whatever attorney he thinks will give him the best defense available.
It’s also possible that Peterson hired Hardin because he wants to go on the offensive and make a public case that he did nothing wrong and it was the Houston police who mistreated him. Hardin earned a reputation while defending Clemens as a lawyer who’s eager to pick a fight — Clemens could have just clammed up and said “I’m not here to talk about the past,” as Mark McGwire did, and it’s unlikely that he ever would have faced any type of criminal charges. Instead, Clemens and Hardin went on the attack from Day One.
Hardin was so aggressive in his defense of Clemens that he was at one point admonished by members of Congress for saying of an IRS special agent who was investigating athletes, “If he ever messes with Roger, Roger will eat his lunch.” Hiring Hardin may indicate that Peterson wants to eat the lunch of the Houston Police Department. Because if Peterson just wanted the case to go away quickly and quietly, Hardin would seem to be a strange choice of attorneys.