WASHINGTON -- Not one of Roger Clemens' flat-out denials
about using steroids or human growth hormone was delivered while he
spoke under oath. Now he gets that chance.
The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to give a
deposition to lawyers from a congressional committee behind closed
doors Tuesday, one day after his former New York Yankees teammate
and workout partner Andy Pettitte delivered sworn testimony for
about 2½ hours.
Both pitchers' private interviews with staff members from the
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are part of
preparation for a Feb. 13 hearing. That public session is expected
to focus on allegations made in the Mitchell report by trainer
Brian McNamee that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with
The 45-year-old Clemens ranks eighth in major league history
with 354 career wins. He put off retirement yet again in 2007,
returning to the Yankees in June and going 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA.
"Roger is not going to take the Fifth Amendment," one of
Clemens' lawyers, Rusty Hardin, said in a statement e-mailed by
spokesman Joe Householder. "He is going to answer the committee's
questions truthfully under oath."
McNamee is to appear Thursday. One of his lawyers, Earl Ward,
said no decision had been made on whether he would submit to a
deposition or transcribed interview. It is a crime to lie to
Congress, whether sworn to tell the truth or not, so the
distinction between the two has more to do with the format of the
questioning and the confidentiality of the transcript.
Pettitte, who chose to be deposed, did not take questions from
reporters afterward as he walked from committee offices to an
elevator in the Rayburn House Office Building. Wearing a pinstriped
gray suit and bright striped tie, Pettitte was accompanied by his
wife and three lawyers.
"At the committee's request, Andy Pettitte voluntarily met with
representatives of the committee this morning, and fully answered
all of the inquiries made of him in a sworn deposition," two of
Pettitte's lawyers, Jay Reisinger and Thomas Farrell, said in a
statement. "Out of respect for the sensitive nature of these
proceedings, and out of deference to the committee's request for
confidentiality, we, on behalf of Mr. Pettitte, will not comment on
the nature or specifics of his testimony."
Staff members for the committee declined to comment.
McNamee told former Senate majority leader George Mitchell he
injected Pettitte with HGH. Pettitte lent credence to Mitchell's
findings by acknowledging two days after the report was released in
December that he did try HGH for two days in 2002 to help deal with
an elbow injury.
The committee announced Monday it will hold yet another hearing
Feb. 12, entitled, "Myths and Facts about Human Growth Hormone,
B-12, and Other Substances." The committee said medical experts
will testify about the effects of such substances.
A former Yankees teammate of Pettitte and Clemens,
Chuck Knoblauch, spoke to committee staff Friday. The day before, an
employee of the sports agency that represents Clemens and Pettitte
went to Capitol Hill to be interviewed.
McNamee said he injected Clemens with HGH and steroids in 1998,
2000 and 2001. Clemens has repeatedly and vigorously denied that,
including in a recorded television interview and a live news
conference -- as well as through his lawyers. Clemens did
acknowledge he received injections from McNamee, but he said they
were for vitamin B-12 and the painkiller lidocaine.
When Mitchell testified at a committee hearing Jan. 15, he was
asked whether he was still comfortable with McNamee's credibility.
"We believe that the statements provided to us were truthful,"
McNamee also said he acquired HGH from former New York Mets
clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski for Knoblauch in 2001 -- and
McNamee said he injected Knoblauch with HGH. Radomski pleaded
guilty in April to federal felony charges of distributing steroids
and laundering money. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, then
speak to committee staff on Feb. 12.
Last week, Ward said he believed Pettitte would tell Congress he
discussed HGH with Clemens between the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Ward
said Pettitte talked about HGH with McNamee following a
conversation with Clemens.
Richard Emery, another lawyer for McNamee, has said the trainer
and Pettitte also discussed steroids use by Clemens.
The 35-year-old Pettitte, who won four championships with the
Yankees then helped the Houston Astros reach their first World
Series, returned to New York last season and went 15-9. This
offseason, he agreed to a $16 million, one-year contract to play
for the Yankees in 2008.