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03/25/08 7:56 PM ET
Rep. Davis questions if Clemens lied
Ranking Republican of House committee issues report
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
U.S. Rep. Tom Davis, a Republican from Virginia who is his party's ranking leader on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has issued a report questioning whether Roger Clemens lied to the committee when the seven-time Cy Young Award winner appeared last month.
Davis and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the committee, referred the question to the Dept. of Justice, asking for a full investigation into whether Clemens committed perjury -- both in his deposition and in public testimony -- about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Since then, agents for the FBI and the IRS have opened their own investigations.
"Did Roger Clemens lie to us? Some of the evidence seems to say he did; other information suggests he told the truth," Davis, who's set to retire at end of his current term, said in a release accompanying the report. "It's a far more complicated picture than some may want to believe. Memories fade and recollections differ. That's human nature, not criminal conduct. My concern is the integrity of sworn statements made to Congress. At this point, the Justice Department is best equipped to investigate that central question and reach a fair conclusion."
The 109-page report, obtained by The Associated Press, includes interviews with new witnesses and also addresses such issues as whether Clemens attended a party in 1998 at then Toronto teammate Jose Canseco's Miami home.
Waxman issued his own report to Democrats on Feb. 27, explaining the evidence and rationale for referring Clemens to the Dept. of Justice.
Clemens gave testimony to the Committee in a Feb. 5 deposition and later at the Feb. 13 public hearing, pitting his story against that of his accuser, Brian McNamee, Clemens' former friend and trainer.
The hearing itself generally broke down along party lines, with Democrats chastising Clemens and Republicans challenging the honesty of McNamee.
Waxman said the next day that he regretted staging the hearing and that he believed both men had lied under oath. But Davis and Waxman did not refer McNamee for investigation.
Clemens has denied vociferously that he ever used steroids or HGH, despite evidence given by McNamee to federal prosecutors and published on Dec. 13 in the Report submitted by former Sen. George Mitchell analyzing the use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. McNamee said that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone repeatedly from 1998 to 2001.
Clemens' truthfulness about the matter of whether he attended the party at Canseco's home was also put into question during the hearing when information was introduced by Waxman, stating that a former nanny employed by Clemens had placed him at Canseco's event. Waxman also chastised Clemens for possible witness tampering because he spoke with the nanny before she was interviewed by attorneys for the committee.
Mitchell said he believed that McNamee's account of his long-term involvement with Clemens had been truthful when the former Majority Leader was asked about it under oath by Reform Committee members during a Jan. 15 hearing.