Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Guns-a-blazin' (periodic liveblog of the Clemens business)

Still not liveblogging, Ok, I'm sort of liveblogging.

You gotta love Clemens' opening statement. Defiant, unequivocal. A bit over-heated, but that's the Clemens we know and love. You can also tell that Roger wrote his statements himself as opposed to reading something Hardin' put together (Hardin, by the way, has the look of a man who has no control over his client. He's peaceful. Resigned. Thinking about some motion he has pending in another case).

McNamee has now directly contradicted Clemens. Someone has now lied under oath.

Bonus: "While I liked and admired Roger Clemens, I never trusted him." I don't think sympathy is all that relevant here, but McNamee -- for all of his faults -- comes off as the far more sympathetic figure here.

While I still think this is a waste of Congress' time, this is grand theatre.

Bonus part II: Before the first question to Clemens, Congressman Elijah Cummings asks Clemens if he knows he is under oath.

You're not going to have a good day when that's your first question.

Update: Elijah Cummings is pretty much a moron. Clemens says Andy Pettitte "misremembers" what Clemens told him. In order to impeach him, Cummings offeres what Andy Pettitte's wife, prefacing it by saying that all of her info is based on what Andy Pettitte said. Dude, if Andy "misremembers" how can his wife have any better information?

Update: Clemens won't admit that he told Pettitte that his wife took HGH. Fine line to walk, there, Roger.

Update: "Mr. Clemens, you testified during your deposition that Mr. McNamee injected your wife in your bedroom without your knowledge."

We know what he meant, but man, that's something that doesn't read well in a transcript . . .

Update: Now McNamee is being hammered over keeping the syringes and his own multiple lies.

For entertainment purposes, this thing has definitely delivered. For legal purposes it's an utter mess. Neither of these guys look good. Neither of them have a viable civil case against the other. When this is over, both need to stand down and simply go away for a while.

Update: With apologies to Dave Barry, I'd like to note that "Palpable mass on the right buttock of Roger Clemens" would be an excellent name for a rock band.

Update: Waxman accuses Clemens of trying to influence his ex-nanny's testimony! The only other time I've seen a lawyer stand up and angrilly point his finger at a Congressional committee was Tom Hagen in Godfather II!

This is just awesome stuff.

Update: Forgive me, but ESPN's feed doesn't always have the names of the representatives up on the screen, so I'll have to identify the current questioner as the gray-haired African American gentleman." Sorry. Anyway, he's asking Clemens why his investigators asked McNamee if there was a paper trail, etc., with the insinuation that Clemens' people were up to no good. At times like these I wish I had the ability to jump in someone's brain a-la Being John Malkovich. If I did, I'd make Roger say "well, I suppose I could have told my investigators to go out and do a half-assed investigation which provides me no information, but I decided to go in the other direction."

Update: The distinguished former prosecutor with the silve combover opines that that the legal case against Clemens -- not that there actually is one at the moment, but still -- is "weak." I agree. If they had him dead to rights on perjury, we would have seen more of it today. As for "did he do steroids," well, that's a weak case too, even if I tend to think he actually did. Ultimately, this is a matter of evidence, not belief, and we need to remember that.

Update: Clemens is getting the hang of this thing. His current "I'm an easy person to find" monologue is pretty sweet, even if it has nothing to do with anything.

Update: I would have wagered $1000 that Roger wouldn't know what a vegan is. I'm glad he didn't let me down. Dude probably brushes his teeth with cow marrow.

Update: The "why would you take B-12 if it wasn't medically indicated" and "why would you let McNamee make chiropractic adjustments if he's not a chiropractor" questions are pretty obtuse. He's a pro athlete. Remember: pro athletes are nuts.

Update: A congressman asks McNamee if he thinks his previous lies hurts his credibility. McNamme says no. Response: "Well shame on you."

Update: Congressman with slicked-back hair and red tie notes that this was supposed to be about steroids in baseball, not all McNamee-Clemens. He's right, but since no one else cares, why should Congress? He also called it a "show trial," which is even righter. By the way, I love this guy. His next question is about how McNamee can both know that his phone call with Clemens was being taped and then later claim surprise and outrage that the substance of the conversation -- McNamee's son's health -- was aired like it was. Pretty good question.

Update: I gotta go into a meeting, so I'm offline for a while. If this is still going on when I'm done, I'll continue. If it's not, I will have a wrap up post later this afternoon.


Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer but I'm pretty sure Mr. Cummings has no respect whatsoever for Clemens....right down to repeatedly telling him to speak up.

Andy "misremembers."

Unknown said...

I need to use "misremember" next time my wife and I are fighting.

"Honey, you are misremembering what I said." Followed by the sound of the door hitting my ass.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

I love 'misremembers'. In fact, I wasn't even sure it was a proper word (yes it is, I checked).

Seems that McNamee is getting grilled by Sen. Burton. Burton's making McNamee look like a liar. Chalk one up to Clemens' camp.

Anonymous said...

So is Burton a Yankees fan, an Astros fan, or just a starstruck Clemens fan?

"I see no evidence that Roger Clemens used steroids."

Burton hasn't been in this big a legal procedure since he served on the jury in the O.J. Simpson trial. Same lack of evidence.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for doing this. I am watching as well, it is great entertainment like you said (at the taxpayers' expense). I also loved your series on the Mitchell report.

Let the record show, Andy Pettite did not just "misremember," he also "misheard" Roger on at least one occasion.

Is there any chance Clemens goes to jail over this?

Jason @ IIATMS said...

I've also been live-blogging, to a degree. Thanks to Craig for lending a quote too!

The Burton discussion was incredible, just as the Clay question asking Roger what hat he's wearing to the HOF.

Then Rusty barking was priceless. Good theater!!!


Anonymous said...

This is a complete joke. This is not an official trial, but it might as well be. Yet neither party is being given the right to representation by attorneys or the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses.

It seems the Republicans are pro-Clemens (of Clement, depending on who's speaking) and the Dems are all against him.

It seems that a lot of these people are clueless at best and downright corrupt at worst.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Clemens could theorehtically go to jail for perjury -- as could McNamee -- but I've seen nothing today that clears up the muck enough to charge either one of them.

As for the procedures, forget it Jake, this is Congress. It's theater more than legal process. Congress can get away with it because when they hold hearings like this they claim to be mere instruments of the people airing information of public and possibly governmental interest. Given how seldom they think of themselves as the people's representatives on other occasions we can call this cynical, but there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Al said...

The best shot anyone got on Clemens had to have been when Eleanor Holmes Norton got Clemens to proclaim what a forgiving and hard-luck guy he is, and then concluded with "Mr. Clemens, all I can say is, I'm sure you're going to heaven."

Grant said...

Elijah Cummings...Maryland's pride and joy.

Unknown said...

And the totally misquoted "twilight of his career" comment by Duquette is brought up again. While he did use those exact words, it was in reference to future years of Clemens' career. Duquette's direct quote - "The Red Sox and our fans were fortunate to see Roger Clemens play in his prime and we had hoped to keep him in Boston during the twilight of his career." See Michael Silverman, Boston Herald, December 14, 1996.

B said...

Highlight of the hearing was Clemens reading a statment and he says "Steroids are (pauses, glances at paper) bad for you."