Saturday, January 5, 2008
The next step in Roger Clemens' offensive to clear his name of steroids and HGH use may well take him to Capitol Hill. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has issued an "invitation" (here) to Clemens and two of his former Yankee teammates, Andy Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, both of whom are mentioned in the Mitchell Report, to testify at hearings on steroid usage in major league baseball. But the real drama will come if Clemens appears next to Brian McNamee, the source of the information against the three Yankees. Pettitte has already admitted to receiving HGH from McNamee, who served as the trainer for both pitchers. The sight of Clemens and McNamee squaring off would be compelling, although how it relates to the work of Congress is beyond me -- unless being a publicity hound is now part of the duties of our national legislature.
I speculated earlier (see previous post here) that a Congressional hearing looks like a sure perjury trap for Clemens because he will be placed under oath, something that Sixty Minutes cannot do as part of its interview with him. Clemens' attorney, Rusty Hardin, is quoted in an AP story (here) stating, "Roger is willing to answer questions, including those posed to him while under oath . . . We hope to determine shortly if schedules and other commitments can accommodate the committee on that date." Of course, any scheduling difficulties would have to yield to a subpoena if Clemens does not appear voluntarily, at which point only an assertion of the Fifth Amendment can block the testimony. To go with the sports analogy, Clemens facing McNamee may be the toughest match-up he will have faced in a very long time. (ph)