WASHINGTON – His face-to-face lobbying efforts not quite complete, Roger Clemens was back on Capitol Hill on Friday with two lawyers and a PR person in tow.
The seven-time Cy Young Award winner began a second day of informal sit-downs with members of the congressional committee looking into the Mitchell Report on drug use in baseball -- and, more specifically, looking into Clemens' denials of allegations by his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, about injections of steroids and human growth hormone.
After meeting with about a dozen representatives Thursday, Clemens was slated to meet with another six Friday. He arrived at the office of Rep. Danny Davis, an Illinois Democrat, shortly after 9:30 a.m.
"It's highly unusual, and that's why I think one would try to determine the rationale for it. What is he trying to accomplish?" Davis said in an interview with The Associated Press before Clemens arrived. "I am willing to hear him out and hear what he has to say."
The world gets a chance to hear what Clemens will say under oath Wednesday, when he, McNamee and New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte are to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Until then, the committee is investigating.
Clemens gave a sworn deposition Tuesday. McNamee's turn came Thursday, when he met for seven hours with congressional lawyers.
During McNamee's deposition, his lawyers showed the committee photographs of syringes and vials and even a crumpled beer can. McNamee's lawyers say the items, when tested, will link Clemens to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
In the Mitchell Report, McNamee said he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and HGH in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Clemens has repeatedly denied those allegations.
"Roger Clemens has put himself in a position where his legacy as the greatest pitcher in baseball will depend less on his ERA and more on his DNA," one of McNamee's lawyers, Earl Ward, said Thursday.
Less than an hour later, not far away in the Rayburn House Office Building, Clemens and his attorneys held their own news conference. Clemens said little, but his lawyers repeatedly attacked McNamee's character and scoffed at the newly presented evidence.
"This man has a total history of lying," Clemens' attorney Rusty Hardin said.
McNamee's lawyers called on Clemens to provide a DNA sample. Asked about that, Hardin said the pitcher would comply with any request of that type from a federal authority.
"But they're going to have to come to us," Hardin said.
McNamee's attorneys did not know when the items would be tested, or when the results might be known.
"We look forward to the results of these tests," said another McNamee lawyer, Richard Emery, "and we look forward to just definitively finishing this whole controversy and ending this circus."
McNamee's attorneys said he turned over physical evidence to federal prosecutors, shortly after Clemens held a Jan. 7 nationally televised news conference at which he played a taped conversation between the two men.
"At that point," Ward said, "(McNamee) decided there was no holds barred."
One photo shows a beer can that Emery said was taken out of a trash can in Clemens' New York apartment in 2001. Emery said the beer can contained needles used to inject Clemens. That picture also shows what Emery said was gauze used to wipe blood off Clemens after a shot.
The other photo shows vials of what Emery said were testosterone and unused needles, items the attorney said Clemens gave to McNamee.
While Clemens' camp called it "manufactured" evidence, Emery said the items were "just a collection of stuff" thrown in a box and "kept in a basement for seven years."
Emery said McNamee kept the items because he "had this inkling and gut feeling that he couldn't trust Roger and better keep something to protect himself in the future."
Clemens met Thursday with committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis for about 20 minutes, then signed an autograph for a bystander upon exiting. That was one of many times Clemens was asked to stop to affix his name to something or pose for a snapshot.
Clemens' deposition Tuesday was the first time he addressed McNamee's allegations under oath, and therefore the first time he put himself at legal risk if he were to make false statements.
Thursday's bizarre events served as something of a dress rehearsal for Wednesday's session, which will be held in the same wood-paneled hearing room that housed the committee's 2005 hearing with Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro.
That hearing was part of Congress' push to get baseball to toughen its drug program, increasing tests and penalties. It also led to former Senate majority leader George Mitchell's report on doping in baseball.
The 45-year-old Clemens, who pitched for the Yankees last season, requested Thursday's meetings with the committee members. He carried a white three-ring binder as he headed from one House office building to another, going through a garage and taking a freight elevator at one point.
"Because the perception out there was so strong originally that he did it and was lying, he's going to extra steps to try and persuade and make people comfortable with the fact that he didn't do it. He's having to take extraordinary measures because the allegations are extraordinary," Hardin said.
Hardin said Clemens was meeting with individual representatives "to assure them privately the same thing he's saying publicly -- that he didn't take steroids, and he didn't take human growth hormone, and he's here to talk to anybody about it who wants to."