ROCKET FUELS LIKELY PERJURY INVESTIGATION:
Baseball Great Roger Clemens May Have More Things to Worry About than His Fading Hall of Fame Chances
Baseball pitcher Roger Clemens may have misremembered himself into a perjury conviction.
The seven-time Cy Young winner has bigger things to worry about than his fading Hall of Fame chances. He will now have to deal with the very real possibility that he could be facing perjury charges from his February 13th testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
On February 27th Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Committee Chairman, sent a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey requesting an investigation of Clemens’ statements. A staff memo prepared for Waxman describes assertions made by Clemens that might be used as a basis for charging Clemens with at least seven counts of perjury. To prove that Clemens is guilty of perjury, the government would have to show that he gave testimony under oath that he knew was false and that this false testimony was material to the hearing.
According to the Waxman memo, Clemens’ testimony that he has never taken steroids or human growth hormone (HGH) is contradicted by three other sources of evidence. First, Brian McNamee, Clemens’ former trainer, testified before the committee that he recalled injecting Clemens with Winstrol, testosterone, nandrolone, and HGH on several occasions between 1998 and 2001. Second, Yankee pitcher Andy Pettitte, Clemens’ former teammate, friend, and training partner testified in a sworn affidavit that he had “no doubt” about his recollection of a conversation with Clemens in 1999 or 2000 in which Clemens disclosed that he used HGH. Pettitte also recalled a subsequent discussion with Clemens sometime around 2005, in which Clemens claimed that Pettitte misunderstood the prior conversation and that he had been referring to his wife Debbie Clemens’s use of HGH, not his own use. The memo notes that Clemens and McNamee testified that Debbie Clemens did not use HGH until 2002 or 2003, meaning Clemens’ attempt to reconcile the first discussion is at odds with Pettitte’s recollection that it took place in 1999 or 2000. Finally, Clemens’ 1998 medical records reflect that he developed an abscess on his buttocks, which an expert concluded was more consistent with a Winstrol injection than Clemens’ claim that he received a B-12 injection.
The memo describes six other potentially false or misleading statements made by Clemens that appear to be contradicted by other evidence, including Clemens’ claims that: (1) McNamee injected him with Lidocaine; (2) team doctors gave him pain injections; (3) he received b-12 injections; (4) he never discussed HGH with McNamee; (5) he was not at Jose Canseco’s home from June 8 to June 10, 1998; and (6) he was never told about Senator Mitchell’s request for an interview.
Clemens may find it most difficult to defend his assertion that he did not attend the barbecue at Canseco’s home. Clemens disputed McNamee’s testimony that he observed Clemens at the barbecue talking to Canseco and an unknown third party, insisting that he was playing golf at the time. Clemens’ story is in part contradicted by the former family nanny, who McNamee remembered attending the event. According to her affidavit, she did not recall any barbecue at Canseco’s home. However, she did remember staying overnight at Canseco’s home with Debbie Clemens and her children and Roger coming in to take a look at his friend’s place. Additionally, after Clemens appeared before the Committee, someone who allegedly attended the barbecue claimed to have photographs of Clemens in the Canseco home. After the revelation of the existence of the photographs, Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin released a statement that “Roger was playing golf at the time of the barbecue, and has stated that he may have stopped by the Canseco house after playing golf before heading to the ballpark for the game.” In his testimony, McNamee stated that Clemens approached him and asked him about steroids for the first time a few days after the barbecue.