Lance Armstrong attorneys: ‘Enough is enough’

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
Lance Armstrong speaks to reporters at the Power of Four mountain bike race in Aspen in August 2012. On Wednesday, his attorneys filed a motion seeking a court order to stop the federal government from asking him about last December's hit-and-run in Aspen's West End neighborhood.
File photo |

The legal team for Lance Armstrong fired off a motion Wednesday accusing the federal government of trying to “malign” the bicyclist over a hit-and-run vehicular accident last December in Aspen’s West End neighborhood.

The motion lobbies for a protection order to stop U.S. attorneys from grilling Armstrong about the accident and other issues his attorneys contend are irrelevant to a federal case.

During a deposition Sept. 24 in San Francisco, attorneys asked Armstrong several questions about his fender-bender cover-up, including whether he had been drinking that night, prompting the seven-time Tour de France winner’s lawyers to abruptly end the conference.

“Enough is enough,” wrote Armstrong attorney Sharif Jacob in the motion, noting the U.S. government’s persistence in quizzing Armstrong goes beyond the scope of the case at hand.

“With two minutes remaining during Armstrong’s deposition, the government sought to question him about a December 2014 car accident that has no relation to this case,” the motion says. “The government previously moved to depose Armstrong’s partner Anna Hansen about the accident, a motion the court denied.”

The federal government has a $100 million fraud case pending against Armstrong in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The case alleges that one of Armstrong’s Tour de France sponsors, the U.S. Postal Service, wouldn’t have paid $30 million to him and his team had it known he was doping from 1997 to 2004.

The government has maintained that Armstrong’s testimony about the Aspen accident speaks to his character as it relates to the federal case.

Armstrong’s attorneys continue to fend off questioning about the Aspen mishap and now are asking for the court to put an end to it.

“The car accident has nothing to do with the subject matter of the government’s claims — or Armstrong’s defenses — and is thus entirely extrinsic to this action. … The government has no reason to ask Armstrong about a December 2013 collision with a parked car other than to malign him,” the motion says.

On Dec. 27, Aspen police ticketed Armstrong for a hit-and-run after he struck two vehicles parked in front of a West Francis Avenue home. Hansen, who has two children with Armstrong and shares a home with him in the West End, originally told authorities she was driving the vehicle but later conceded Armstrong was behind the wheel, police said. Armstrong pleaded guilty to careless driving and paid a $150 traffic fine and $238.50 in court fees in February.

The most recent motion argues that Armstrong never spoke to Aspen cops after the accident, “and when Ms. Hansen spoke (to police) on his behalf, Armstrong was prepared to admit driving the car and accept responsibility for the crash.”


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