Hearing featuring Clemens, McNamee, Pettitte postponed until Feb. 13

WASHINGTON -- Congress wants to be prepared when
Roger Clemens and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, head to Capitol

The House hearing involving Clemens, McNamee and Andy Pettitte
was postponed Wednesday from Jan. 16 until Feb. 13, giving
lawmakers more time to gather evidence and to coordinate their
investigation with the Justice Department.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform was to
begin meeting with lawyers for the witnesses Thursday. Clemens'
attorney, Rusty Hardin, said he hopes to meet with committee
staffers next week. In addition, McNamee is to meet with federal
prosecutors Thursday in New York.

"Roger hasn't done anything," Hardin said. "The federal
government looking at Roger is fine with me."

A congressional source familiar with the investigation told ESPN.com on Wednesday night that the committee is working to have Clemens deposed in Washington Jan. 16.

Plans are still in place for the Jan. 15 hearing before the same
committee about the Mitchell Report on baseball's Steroids Era. The
witnesses that day will be commissioner Bud Selig, union leader
Donald Fehr and former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, the
report's author.

Questioned by federal prosecutors last year, McNamee said he
injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone in 1998,
2000 and 2001. Prosecutors had him repeat those charges to
Mitchell, and since the report was issued last month, Clemens has
repeatedly and vehemently denied the allegations.

A lawyer for McNamee said Wednesday his client wants immunity
from the House committee. Hardin said Clemens will not request

McNamee will meet with the BALCO prosecutors who are in the area
for former track star Marion Jones' sentencing Friday. Jones
pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about steroid use and a
check-fraud scheme.

"They want to talk to him while they're in town," said Earl
Ward, McNamee's primary lawyer.

Does this mean prosecutors are now turning their attention to

"Nothing like that," Ward said. "They just wanted to grab a cup
coffee, that's all. It's just an informal, quick meeting."

Last week, Congress asked seven-time Cy Young
Award winner Clemens, teammate and friend Pettitte and their
ex-trainer, McNamee, to testify under oath. Also invited were
former Yankees player Chuck Knoblauch and Kirk Radomski, the former
New York Mets clubhouse attendant who was one of the main sources
of evidence for the Mitchell Report.

Radomski pleaded guilty in April to federal felony charges of
distributing steroids and laundering money, and he is scheduled to
be sentenced Feb. 8.

"The Justice Department told the committee it would be helpful
if we waited until after Radomski is sentenced," the committee's
minority staff director, David Marin, wrote in an e-mail to ESPN.com. "This also gives us more time to delve into more
recent developments, gather more information, and depose all
witnesses before they testify in public."

McNamee lawyer Richard Emery said he believed the postponement
was an act of respect toward Mitchell and Tuesday's session.

"He wanted it to be focused on steroids issues and the larger
policy issues instead of everyone waiting with bated breath for the
professional wrestler to get up there and make a statement," Emery
said. "Roger became the main attraction. Usually Congress loves
those kind of shows."

Plenty has happened since the committee arranged the
Clemens-Pettitte-McNamee hearing las Friday.

Clemens, who ranks eighth in major league history with 354 wins,
filed a defamation lawsuit Sunday against McNamee. Also Sunday, a
TV interview with Clemens aired in which he said McNamee injected
him only with vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine. The
pitcher then held a news conference Monday, when he said, "I'm
going to Congress, and I'm going to tell the truth," and played a
recording of a 17-minute telephone conversation with McNamee that
Clemens' side secretly taped.

That tape could be among the items requested by the committee,
the same House panel that brought sluggers Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa
and Rafael Palmeiro to Capitol Hill in March 2005. No depositions
were taken before that hearing.

McNamee's attorneys have urged the committee to obtain a
recording of a conversation between his client and investigators
who work for Clemens' law firm. That meeting took place Dec. 12, a
day before the Mitchell Report was released.

A congressional source familiar with the investigation offered reasons to ESPN.com for the delay:
"For example, we now know of taped conversations that the committee wants to hear in their entirety, and wants to ask questions about before a public hearing."

Karen Lightfoot, communications director for the
committee's chairman, California Democrat Henry Waxman, said: "We are considering requests for information from all relevant

Pettitte acknowledged McNamee injected him twice with HGH.
Radomski is alleged to have supplied McNamee with
performance-enhancing drugs.

"I'll be very interested to see the order of the depositions,
whether we will be provided with other people's depositions when
they are taken," Emery said.

If the witnesses are allowed to see others' depositions, that
could create an advantage for those testifying later in the

Hardin said: "The one thing I want to make certain is, is that
we don't educate McNamee as to which story to tell these days."

McNamee reached an agreement in which he would not be prosecuted
as long as he was truthful in what he told federal investigators
and Mitchell. His lawyers will seek a similar agreement with the
committee, Emery said.

Marin declined to comment when asked about the possibility of
immunity for congressional testimony. Before the committee's 2005
hearing, Jose Canseco -- whose book about steroids in baseball drew
congressional scrutiny -- requested immunity but was turned down.

Meanwhile, in an e-mail to 1050's ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand on Wednesday, Hardin said if McNamee makes the same accusations about Clemens to Congress that he did in the Mitchell report, the trainer will perjure himself.

"Without question," Hardin said without elaborating.

The 45-year-old Clemens put off retirement yet again in 2007,
returning to the Yankees in June and going 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA. The
right-hander hasn't said whether he will pitch in the majors in

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.