Power Play

Rep. Issa won't have to testify in Clemens trial Eds

A federal judge ruled Monday that lawyers for superstar pitcher Roger Clemens won’t be able to call House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa as a witness in the superstar pitcher’s trial on charges that  allegedly lied to Congress.

Clemens is charged with lying to the Oversight panel about the use of performance enhancing drugs prior to Issa assuming the chairmanship.

Clemens’ legal team issued a subpoena for Issa., R-Calif., because he was critical of the panel holding the hearings and made statements favorable to Clemens.

U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton quashed the subpoena, saying that Issa’s contributions on the witness stand would just lead to speculation and that prosecutors would have to call other lawmakers.

Issa’s counsel on the Oversight Committee cited the Constitution’s “speech and debate” clause, which inoculates lawmakers from legal consequences as they carry out their official duties in Congress.

Some critics have asked why Issa declined to testify when he has spoken openly of drawing up contempt of Congress resolution for Attorney General Eric Holder after he has refused to provide lawmakers with certain information regarding the failed gun running program known as “Fast and Furious.”

An Issa spokesman declined immediate comment about Walton’s decision.