WASHINGTON – A lawyer for Roger Clemens said Saturday the pitcher can prove he didn't attend a June 1998 party at Jose Canseco's home described by Brian McNamee in the Mitchell Report.
According to McNamee, Clemens first raised the subject of steroids not long after McNamee saw Canseco and Clemens meeting during the party.
Clemens' side has turned over evidence to congressional investigators, including an affidavit from Canseco, to support that the pitcher wasn't present at Canseco's home that day, the attorney, Rusty Hardin, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
Hardin said video footage from telecasts of baseball games around the time of the party also were given to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. During the telecasts, Hardin said, TV announcers can be heard discussing Canseco's party and noting that Clemens wasn't there.
A person familiar with the committee's investigation confirmed to the AP the affidavit and video were turned over and are in Clemens' favor. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation.
The House panel is examining former Senate majority leader George Mitchell's report on drug use in baseball, and a public hearing Wednesday is expected to focus on Clemens' denials of what his former personal trainer, McNamee, alleged. McNamee told Mitchell he injected Clemens at least 16 times with steroids and human growth hormone in 1998, 2000 and 2001.
"One of the things the committee is going to hear on Wednesday is about this party that is supposed to have started this whole thing," Hardin said. "Roger wasn't even at this party."
Asked about what Hardin said, one of McNamee's attorneys, Richard Emery, replied: "It may be that he wasn't there for the whole time, but he was there at some point. ... His kids were there, his wife was there, and he was there."
The first mention of Clemens' name in the Mitchell Report is on page 167. On the very next page comes McNamee's account of "a lunch party that Canseco hosted at his home in Miami."
"McNamee stated that, during this luncheon, he observed Clemens, Canseco, and another person he did not know meeting inside Canseco's house, although McNamee did not personally attend that meeting," the Mitchell Report says.
The report goes on to say that Canseco told Mitchell's staff "he had numerous conversations with Clemens about the benefits of Deca-Durabolin and Winstrol and how to 'cycle' and 'stack' steroids."
The report continues: "Toward the end of the road trip which included the Marlins series, or shortly after the Blue Jays returned home to Toronto, Clemens approached McNamee and, for the first time, brought up the subject of using steroids. Clemens said that he was not able to inject himself, and he asked for McNamee's help."
Hardin said that last week Clemens' camp sent a lawyer to interview Canseco, whose book about steroids in baseball, "Juiced," prompted Congress to hold hearings in March 2005. According to Hardin, Canseco said Clemens was not at the party.
Canseco did not immediately respond to a telephone message Saturday night.
His lawyer, Robert Saunooke, said he was unaware of an affidavit but added that he could confirm Canseco has spoken to lawyers for Clemens recently.
As described by Hardin, the video footage turned over to the committee includes one announcer making reference to Canseco's party and saying Clemens didn't show up. Another announcer, Hardin said, then adds that he saw Clemens playing golf that day.
Hardin said Clemens has a receipt for greens fees from that day.
Hardin hopes the committee will show the video during Wednesday's hearing, he said, "and let the public see how dramatic and clear it is that Roger obviously was not at the very party that McNamee is testifying started this whole thing. It's the foundation of it."
Clemens raised the discrepancy about the party during at least some of his various face-to-face meetings with representatives Thursday and Friday.
"He told me he was never there," said Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a Pennsylvania Democrat. "They have physical, hard evidence that he was never there."
Kanjorski was one of seven lawmakers Clemens with Friday, raising the two-day total to 19 — nearly half of the 41 on the committee.
"Roger made it clear with all the congressmen he was talking to: He wasn't challenging the Mitchell Report," Hardin said. "He was simply challenging the part of it that dealt with him that's based on what McNamee says."