This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," December 14, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: FOX NEWS ALERT: You know, I was just asking Senator Mitchell if he has had had any time to shop for Christmas. Apparently, he's been occupied. I don't know why. But, anyway, now to the man whose report has set off a worldwide jolt. I'm talking about former Senator George Mitchell.
Senator, very good to have you.
GEORGE MITCHELL (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Thanks, Neil. Nice to be here.
CAVUTO: Boy, when it rains, it pours, right? As soon as the report comes out, now Congress wants to be involved again. A House committee wants to call you and essentially all the key players down.
CAVUTO: And now a Senate committee, the Senate Finance Committee, wants to see if there's a tie between this and maybe potential tax evasion?
Where is all this going?
MITCHELL: Well, I don't know. My hope is that the Players Association and the commissioner and the clubs will be given a chance to review this, and digest it — it's 400 or 500 pages long, so there's a lot of information to review — take a look at the recommendations, check with their constituents — you know they've got constituents, just like members of Congress — and — and with other experts — there are a lot of people who know a lot more about drug testing than I do — and be given the opportunity to come up with a position on what they think they should do.
And I hope that happens, and that we don't rush into something that forces them to take a position that they really haven't had a chance to consider.
And I want to say, people aren't very optimistic. I get asked a lot, well, what do you — why do you think it anything isn't going to happen? There is a record of action by both parties. In 2002, they agreed on a drug testing program. That was a big step. The Players Association had always previously opposed it. So...
CAVUTO: But they didn't do it with great enthusiasm.
MITCHELL: No. No, they didn't. That's right. But a lot of us do a lot of things without enthusiasm.
CAVUTO: Because you want something more random, right? That, at least learning from this report, Senator...
CAVUTO: ... a lot of these players found ways around that to kind of get a heads-up when a test might be coming.
MITCHELL: Well, the — after 2002, after they made that decision, for which they both deserve credit — the commissioner pushed real hard, and the Players Association did come along.
In the last five years, there have been many changes to correct problems as they arose, many that have developed during the course of our investigation. So, I think they may be willing to move forward, to keep that attitude going, to make further changes in it.
CAVUTO: Let me ask you, Senator, Roger Clemens and his lawyer said, effectively, we have been slandered. Have they?
MITCHELL: I invited every player mentioned in the report about whom we received allegations to come in and meet with me. I was — said I would tell them what information I had.
CAVUTO: You did this beforehand?
MITCHELL: Oh, beforehand.
CAVUTO: So, they had a heads-up that this was coming?
MITCHELL: Oh, yes.
CAVUTO: Roger Clemens and his lawyer knew?
MITCHELL: Every single player that I...
CAVUTO: And what did they say?
MITCHELL: They said no. They declined to meet with me. So, that put me in a difficult...
CAVUTO: At what point was this, sir?
MITCHELL: I started sending letters to the Players Association in June and continued over...
CAVUTO: June of this year?
MITCHELL: June of this year. Over the next couple months, as we developed information, I sent them names.
I said, these are players about whom I have received allegations. I would like to meet with them. And my intention was to provide the player with whatever information I had, documents, testimony, ask him, give him the chance to review it with his lawyer, and respond to me.
CAVUTO: But that could be used — wasn't Don Fehr's argument, of the players unions, that could used potentially against them in a court of law, right?
MITCHELL: In the last five years, since this drug program has started, 250 professional baseball players, most minor leaguers, but some Major Leaguers, have been suspended because they tested positive in a drug test — 250.
I asked the commissioner's office and the Players Association, have any of them ever been prosecuted and convicted? Not one. That's because the Department of Justice follows a policy, nationwide, which is that they don't prosecute the individual end-users of illegal drugs. They devote their resources to the suppliers, the dealers, the manufacturers, the people who are profiting in the illegal trade.
So, yes, they said that might happen, but it's never happened. And I don't think it would happen. And, so, my hope was that...
CAVUTO: But I could see why, legally, they would be twice shy, right?