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Lawyer says he has proof Clemens wasn't at Canseco's 1998 party

WASHINGTON -- A lawyer for Roger Clemens said Saturday the
pitcher can prove he didn't attend a June 1998 party at Jose
Canseco's home described by Brian McNamee in the Mitchell report.

According to McNamee, Clemens first raised the subject of
steroids not long after McNamee saw Canseco and Clemens meeting
during the party.

Clemens' side has turned over evidence to congressional
investigators, including an affidavit from Canseco, to support that
the pitcher wasn't present at Canseco's home that day, the
attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a telephone interview with The
Associated Press.

Hardin said video footage from telecasts of baseball games
around the time of the party also were given to the House Committee
on Oversight and Government Reform. During the telecasts, Hardin
said, TV announcers can be heard discussing Canseco's party and
noting that Clemens wasn't there.

A person familiar with the committee's investigation confirmed
to the AP the affidavit and video were turned over and are in
Clemens' favor. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because
of the sensitive nature of the investigation.

The House panel is examining former Senate Majority Leader
George Mitchell's report on drug use in baseball, and a public
hearing Wednesday is expected to focus on Clemens' denials of what
his former personal trainer, McNamee, alleged. McNamee told
Mitchell he injected Clemens at least 16 times with steroids and
human growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

"One of the things the committee is going to hear on Wednesday
is about this party that is supposed to have started this whole
thing," Hardin said. "Roger wasn't even at this party."

Asked about what Hardin said, one of McNamee's attorneys,
Richard Emery, replied: "It may be that he wasn't there for the
whole time, but he was there at some point. ... His kids were
there, his wife was there, and he was there."

The first mention of Clemens' name in the Mitchell report is on
page 167. On the very next page comes McNamee's account of "a
lunch party that Canseco hosted at his home in Miami."

"McNamee stated that, during this luncheon, he observed
Clemens, Canseco, and another person he did not know meeting inside
Canseco's house, although McNamee did not personally attend that
meeting," the Mitchell report says.

Former Blue Jays catcher
Darrin Fletcher, who said he was at the party "for a brief time" said he did not remember seeing Clemens at Canseco's home.

"All I know was it was during the day," Fletcher told New York Newsday. "It was a barbecue. We had a game at night. There were a lot of players there. But this was '98, so I can't remember much. To be honest with you, I don't particularly remember Roger being there. I don't remember staying very long. A few of us had a rental car. We showed up, ate at his house, checked out his home and left early.

"People were floating in and out," Fletcher added. "I can't really remember ... He could have showed up late, I don't know, but I just don't remember him being there."

The Mitchell report goes on to say that Canseco told Mitchell's staff
"he had numerous conversations with Clemens about the benefits of
Deca-Durabolin and Winstrol and how to 'cycle' and 'stack'
steroids."

The report continues: "Toward the end of the road trip which
included the Marlins series, or shortly after the Blue Jays
returned home to Toronto, Clemens approached McNamee and, for the
first time, brought up the subject of using steroids. Clemens said
that he was not able to inject himself, and he asked for McNamee's
help."

Hardin said that last week Clemens' camp sent a lawyer to
interview Canseco, whose book about steroids in baseball,
"Juiced," prompted Congress to hold hearings in March 2005.
According to Hardin, Canseco said Clemens was not at the party.

Canseco did not immediately respond to a telephone message
Saturday night.

His lawyer, Robert Saunooke, said he was unaware of an affidavit
but added that he could confirm Canseco has spoken to lawyers for
Clemens recently.

According to The New York Post, Mitchell interviewed Canseco before speaking to McNamee, so Canseco was never asked about the party in question. Hardin told the newspaper that investigators hired by Clemens spoke to Canseco last week, and Canseco's recollection of the party is that Clemens was not in attendance because it was the only party he had for the team and he was disappointed Clemens wasn't there.

As described by Hardin, the video footage turned over to the
committee includes one announcer making reference to Canseco's
party and saying Clemens didn't show up. Another announcer, Hardin
said, then adds that he saw Clemens playing golf that day.

Hardin said Clemens has a receipt for greens fees from that day.

Hardin hopes the committee will show the video during
Wednesday's hearing, he said, "and let the public see how dramatic
and clear it is that Roger obviously was not at the very party that
McNamee is testifying started this whole thing. It's the foundation
of it."

Clemens raised the discrepancy about the party during at least
some of his various face-to-face meetings with representatives
Thursday and Friday.

"He told me he was never there," said Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a
Pennsylvania Democrat. "They have physical, hard evidence that he
was never there."

Kanjorski was one of seven lawmakers Clemens with Friday,
raising the two-day total to 19 -- nearly half of the 41 on the
committee.

"Roger made it clear with all the congressmen he was talking
to: He wasn't challenging the Mitchell report," Hardin said. "He
was simply challenging the part of it that dealt with him that's
based on what McNamee says."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.