It's become a daily routine: A new element of Brian McNamee's "I injected Roger Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone" story emerges — and Clemens' attorneys call the pitcher's former personal trainer a liar. Now it get really, really, really wierd. The latest, and quite possibly oddest, twist involves Clemens' wife.
McNamee told congressional investigators he injected Debbie Clemens with HGH — at the seven-time Cy Young Award winner's direction — before the couple posed for a 2003 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition photo shoot, a lawyer familiar with his testimony said Friday. The lawyer spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because details of Thursday's testimony have not been publicly released. McNamee's statements about Debbie Clemens were first reported by the New York Daily News on its website Friday. Both Clemens and McNamee are scheduled to testify publicly Wednesday at a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. McNamee told baseball investigator and former South Dakota senator George Mitchell that he injected Clemens at least 16 times with steroids and HGH in 1998, 2000 and 2001, allegations the star pitcher repeatedly has denied. Clemens did not comment on the latest accusation, which came out as he wrapped up a second day of face-to-face meetings with members of Congress. Clemens' lawyers, Rusty Hardin and Lanny Breuer, did not directly address the issue when asked about it.
"Did Roger get the Cy Young 'cause his wife took the HGH?" Breuer asked. Referring to McNamee, Hardin said: "This guy is a colossal liar, and he has absolutely no shame." Asked specifically about the portion of the report that said Clemens played a role in what happened, Hardin said: "To say that Roger directed that kind of thing is a colossal lie." Members of the committee and their staff are not supposed to discuss what is said at a congressional deposition; a witness and his lawyers may.
"I will not confirm or deny it. I think it's inappropriate for any purported testimony from yesterday to be revealed," said one of McNamee's lawyers, Richard Emery. "The issue in this case is Roger Clemens' use of steroids and his failure to own up to it." The committee's Republican general counsel, Keith Ausbrook said: "I have no reason to believe anybody on the committee leaked that, and I have no comment on the content."
Clemens delivered his sworn testimony over five hours Tuesday, then spent Thursday and Friday doing his best imitation of a K Street lobbyist. He met with 12 lawmakers Thursday, then another seven Friday, meaning Clemens has spoken with nearly half of the committee's 41 members. After McNamee's seven-hour deposition Thursday, his lawyers showed reporters two color photos they brought to the committee, showing items such as needles and steroid vials they say McNamee saved for several years and, when tested, will link Clemens to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. "That was sort of weird, you must admit," Edolphus Towns (D-New York) after his Clemens session Friday. "For seven years, you hold onto it? That's longer than Monica Lewinsky kept it." With his lawyers and a PR person in tow, Clemens made his way to the office of Rep. Danny Davis (D-Illinois), shortly after 9:30 a.m., and the Rocket did not leave Capitol Hill until about 4 p.m. ET
"It's highly unusual, and that's why I think one would try to determine the rationale for it. What is he trying to accomplish?" Davis said in an interview with the AP before Clemens arrived. "I am willing to hear him out and hear what he has to say."
And while Clemens was heading home to Texas on Friday night, his camp mentioned the possibility of a news conference Monday and more congressional visits Tuesday. "I've met a number of the congressmen before," Clemens said at one point in the morning. "It's been great. It's not my first trip to Washington." Several lawmakers characterized the sessions as more social than substantive, noting that Clemens discussed his charitable work. Others brought up that Clemens or his lawyers disparaged McNamee.
"The meeting was at his request, and only as a matter of courtesy did I meet with him," District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said. "I don't usually meet with witnesses. I don't understand that they serve a purpose, because we don't do a hearing in advance of a hearing." Also on the witness list for Wednesday are New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, who acknowledged using HGH; former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch; and former New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski, who was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to five years' probation after cooperating with Mitchell. Radomski pleaded guilty in April to distributing steroids and money laundering, and he led investigators to McNamee.
After his sitdown with Towns, Clemens waited around for a photo op, shaking hands with the congressman but not taking questions from reporters. Before Clemens could leave Towns' office, two members of the representative's staff stopped him to pose for pictures. A few times during the day, as Clemens walked from the Rayburn House Office Building to Cannon HOB and back to Rayburn, he was asked to sign autographs by people in the hallways. The 45-year-old Clemens, who pitched for the Yankees last season and ranks eighth in baseball history with 354 wins, carried a black three-ring binder as he made his rounds. "For me, the question is still out. The verdict is not in," Davis said after his 30 minutes with Clemens. "I'm not certain if he did or if he did not" use steroids.
What next, the dog?