Congressional live blog (contd.)
Posted: Wednesday February 13, 2008 9:55AM; Updated: Wednesday February 13, 2008 4:06PM
12:26 p.m. ET
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) thanks Clemens for "all he has done for New York." Gee, I didn't know Suzyn Waldman was in Congress. Maloney gets on better footing by bringing up the inconsistency between what Clemens told the committee and what he told 60 Minutes regarding not knowing that the Mitchell Report investigators wanted to talk to him. Clemens said that he was never told by his agents that Mitchell wanted to talk to him. He then basically put his agents on the hook for not bringing Mitchell's request to him. Maloney said she would fire her staff if such a thing happened to her, saying they would have committed a "breach a trust" by not telling her. Clemens says he has not fired his agents. Not a good moment for Clemens, a guy who has lived on the mound as someone in control of everything.
12:25 p.m. ET
From SI.com's Jon Heyman: "As explanation for why Clemens declined to talk to Sen. Mitchell, Clemens claimed his agents withheld the information about what McNamee testified about him and never told him what was in the report, which seems hard to believe. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who noted how 'proud' New York was of Clemens, then asked Clemens whether his agents, the Hendricks brothers, had done him 'a terrible disservice,' and Clemens responded, 'I would say so.' Maloney asked him what actions Clemens took and noted she would have fired her staff if they withheld such pertinent information, and Clemens admitted that he had not done anything about it. Maloney, from New York City, scored a direct hit on Clemens."
12:20 p.m. ET
From SI's David Epstein: "McNamee's credibility is obviously an issue. He hasn't exactly been a model client: remembering things out of the blue, and turning up new physical evidence. Richard Emery told me a while back that Brian's decision to speak with Hardin's investigators was 'incredibly foolhardy.'"
12:15 p.m. ET
From SI.com's Jon Heyman: "The House Committee so far is splitting along party lies. Through their tough questioning of Clemens, the Democrats are showing support for McNamee's position, while Republicans have shown support for Clemens' denials. It seems that Republicans and Democrats have a tough time agreeing on many things, including Clemens."
12:10 p.m. ET
From SI's Tom Verducci: "Credibility is an important theme in this hearing. And there's nothing like immediately blowing your credibility when you make reference to one 'Jose Can-SEEK-o,' as did Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.). Not only does Kanjorski not know how to pronounce Canseco's name, but he obviously has no clue how unreliable a character is Canseco. Remember, Canseco wrote in his book about repeated discussions he had with Clemens about steroids, and now he's claiming he never did. And the luncheon at Canseco's house -- whether Clemens was there or not -- is rather unimportant when matched against all other testimony and evidence. It was wasted time. Memo to Kanjorski: not a good idea to hitch your line of questioning to Jose Canseco."
12:04 p.m. ET
Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) brings some levity to the hearings by asking a question of Charles Scheeler, a lawyer who helped produce the Mitchell Report. Kanjorski says he doesn't want Scheeler to be a "potted plant." Kanjorski mispronounces Canseco's name. He is taking Scheeler to task (but, as always, being deferential toward Mitchell himself) for the possible contradictory evidence of others who have stated that Clemens was not at Canseco's party. Scheeler said his team interviewed Canseco in 2006 and did not know of Canseco's lunch at the time so they did not ask him about it.
12:01 p.m. ET
Davis asks McNamee why he injected substances into professional athletes, if, as a former police officer, he knew it was illegal. "It was something I should have not have done and I'm ashamed of. That is why I am here today." McNamee said he had previously thought about suing the Hendricks brothers (Clemens' agents) firm.
11:59 a.m. ET
From SI's Tom Verducci: "Stephen F. Lynch (D-Ma) was a star of the last congressional hearing when he pushed baseball on therapeutic use exemptions. And the congressman came up big again when he showed that rather than get involved in grandstanding, he went out and did his homework to be prepared for the hearing. Lynch and his staff studied an MRI report from Clemens' days in Toronto, regarding an abscess, and consulted with medical experts. In one case Lynch redacted Clemens' name and had a medical expert examine the MRI report. The doctor's findings show that Clemens' buttocks problem appeared not to have anything to do with B-12 shots or a strain, but were more consistent with steroid injections. 'Given the physical evidence, [it] seems consistent with what Mr. McNamee is saying,' Lynch told Clemens. Dr. Ron Taylor, the Toronto physician, told Lynch that he gave 'close to one thousand B-12 shots' and never had such a complication. Asked about it, Clemens basically called out Taylor as either being wrong or incompetent. 'If he gave me a bad shot he gave me a bad shot,' Clemens said."
11:57 a.m. ET
Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) said that doctors and trainers (from the Blue Jays) gave testimony that B-12 shots could not have caused any side effects that Clemens experienced in 1998. Lynch's statement indicated that it was more compatible with the steroid Winstrol. "How I am supposed to receive this testimony?" Lynch asks of Clemens. Clemens said he provided everything he could to the staff and that B-12 shots gave him discomfort.
11:53 a.m. ET
From SI's David Epstein: "Davis just took a shot at the Dems, saying that the 'other side' seems to be only focused on Clemens. Privately, some Republican staff members have said they feel like the Democratic side of the committee hasn't borne much of the burden of speaking publicly. There may be some animosity."
11:50 a.m. ET
From SI.com's Jon Heyman: "Burton became the first congressman to express his concern for Clemens' reputation, pointing out, 'Roger Clemens is a titan in baseball.' Burton worried aloud about Clemens' reputation. 'With all these lies, you're destroying his reputation.' Then Burton resumed with a flourish, 'How does he get his reputation back?'
11:45 a.m. ET
From SI's Tom Verducci: "Dan Burton (R-In) sounded naive about why McNamee would keep the syringes and gauze pads. Burton, coming across as a B-grade actor trying to act tough, and occasionally unable to keep his facts or line of questioning straight, apparently thinks it's impossible for someone to work for an employer and simultaneously maintain a level of distrust. Hello? Happens all the time. And what was McNamee to do, tell Clemens, 'Hey, I have a gnawing feeling that someday you might throw me under the bus to protect your own name, so that's enough for me to give up my only gainful employment?' Burton was also hung up on the 'lies' that McNamee told the press. O.K., you're telling me a United States representative knows nothing about the practice of telling 'lies' to the press? Please. The issue isn't what McNamee and Clemens told the press. It's what they're saying under oath. Burton clinched the Grandstanding Award of the Day."
11:41 a.m. ET
Well, now it gets interesting. Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) is grilling McNamee. He is grandstanding but making points. "Why did you keep the needles and gauze pads? You do this to all your employers?" McNamee said that he also kept evidence on Chuck Knoblauch, which is now in the possession of the feds. McNamee says he felt bad about keeping them. "Gee whiz, are you kidding me?" Burton explained. Burton is really going after him. He asks if he is lying about Canseco's party. McNamee says he is not. Burton is reading from a Daily News story in 2006 in which he claimed never to have injected HGH into Clemens and Pettitte. McNamee says he lied. Burton is reading a series of statements in which McNamee denies having anything to do with steroids. Burton concludes by saying he doesn't see evidence of Clemens lying and grills McNamee. "This is really disgusting. You are here as a sworn witness, and yet we have lie after lie after lie! I don't know what to believe! I know one thing I don't believe -- and that's you!"
11:40 a.m. ET
From SI's David Epstein: "As I mentioned before, I talked to Earl Ward about the supposed coercion, and he said he was present during all interviews with federal investigators. He described their conduct as 'consistently professional,' and said that there was not undue pressure beyond the obvious threat of prosecution. He said that, regarding the taped conversation with Hardin's investigators where McNamee did make it look like he was pressured for Clemens specifically, McNamee exaggerated the pressure he was under because he was hoping that it would cause Clemens and Pettitte to be less mad at him. Also there are several committee members who didn't show up yesterday or at the previous baseball hearing."