WASHINGTON – The top Republican on the congressional committee that investigated whether Roger Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs released a report Tuesday questioning the Democratic majority's conclusion that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner might have lied in his testimony before the panel last month.
The 109-page report, obtained by The Associated Press, contains details Rep. Tom Davis believes could challenge the credibility of Brian McNamee, the personal trainer who testified under oath he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone from 1998-01.
Republican staff from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will pass along additional information to the Justice Department. The FBI is investigating whether Clemens lied to Congress.
"Did Roger Clemens lie to us?" Davis said in a release accompanying the report.
"Some of the evidence seems to say he did; other information suggests he told the truth," the Virginia Republican said. "It's a far more complicated picture than some may want to believe. Memories fade and recollections differ. That's human nature, not criminal conduct. My concern is the integrity of sworn statements made to Congress. At this point, the Justice Department is best equipped to investigate that central question and reach a fair conclusion."
The report includes portions of previously undisclosed interviews with new witnesses and addresses issues such as whether Clemens attended a party at then-teammate Jose Canseco's house in 1998; information about injections of vitamin B-12; and whether Clemens developed an abscess on his buttocks.
The report — "Weighing the Committee Record: A Balanced Review of the Evidence Regarding Performance Enhancing Drugs in Baseball" — stands as a counterpoint to the 18-page memo released Feb. 27 by chairman Henry Waxman.
That was the day Waxman and Davis asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to open an investigation into whether Clemens committed perjury. The following day, the Justice Department told the FBI to take up the matter.
Waxman's memo to Democratic staff outlined the reasons for the criminal referral, summarizing "seven sets of assertions made by Mr. Clemens in his testimony that appear to be contradicted by other evidence before the committee or implausible."
Those areas involve Clemens' testimony that he has "never taken steroids or HGH"; that McNamee injected him with the painkiller lidocaine; that team trainers gave him pain injections; that he received many vitamin B-12 injections; that he never discussed HGH with McNamee; that he was not at Canseco's home from June 8-10, 1998, when their Toronto Blue Jays played a series at the Florida Marlins; and that he was "never told" about baseball investigator George Mitchell's request to speak before Mitchell issued his report containing McNamee's allegations.
"The Democratic staff memorandum's characterizations and conclusions regarding these other matters is simply not relevant to the core question of whether Clemens knowingly lied about using anabolic steroids and human growth hormone," Tuesday's Republican report said.
Further echoing the partisan nature of the Feb. 13 committee hearing at which Clemens and McNamee testified, the Republican report said: "More concerning, however, the Democratic memorandum reads like an advocate's brief or prosecutorial indictment of Roger Clemens."
Richard Emery, one of McNamee's lawyers, would not immediately comment, saying he had yet to read Tuesday's report. Clemens' lawyer, Rusty Hardin, could not immediately be reached for comment.
After the Feb. 13 hearing — at which McNamee repeated his accusations and Clemens repeated his denials, both under oath and under questioning from lawmakers — the minority staff conducted interviews with additional witnesses.
Among them were a man who said he played golf with Clemens, a friend of Canseco's, and Blue Jays traveling secretary John Brioux, who say Clemens was not at Canseco's 1998 party. In the Mitchell Report, released in December, McNamee said he saw Clemens and Canseco speaking at that party — and that it was shortly thereafter that Clemens first approached the trainer about using performance-enhancing drugs.
Tuesday's report also points out conflicts between testimony by McNamee and Andy Pettitte, the New York Yankees pitcher who was a teammate and friend of Clemens.
And the Republicans question why the Democrats cast doubt on Clemens' testimony that he received B-12 shots because teams' medical records do not show such injections; the minority report notes that Yankees trainer Gene Monahan testified his team did not always keep records about B-12. And the report mentions interviews with two team doctors and two trainers about whether Clemens had an abscess, but no witness corroborated McNamee's testimony on that subject.