Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Let the Perjury Investigation Begin!

We've been sort of shuffling up to this point, but as near as I can tell, this is the first article to report testimony that (a) could actually nail Roger for perjury; and (b) utterly sink his defamation case:
Roger Clemens told Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte nearly 10 years ago that he used human growth hormone, Pettitte said in a sworn affidavit to Congress, the Associated Press learned Tuesday . . .

. . .
According to the person familiar with the affidavit, who said it was signed Friday night, Pettitte also said Clemens backtracked when the subject of HGH came up again in conversation in 2005, before the same House committee held the first hearing on steroids in baseball.

Pettitte said in the affidavit that he asked Clemens in 2005 what he would do if asked by the media about HGH, given his admission years earlier. According to the account told to the AP, the affidavit said Clemens responded by saying Pettitte misunderstood the previous exchange in 1999 or 2000 and that, in fact, Clemens had been talking about HGH use by his wife in the original conversation.

I say this actually sinks him because, unlike everything else we've heard, Pettitte's testimony of Clemens' admission is admissible evidence under the Rules of Evidence.* Moreover, unlike McNamee's contradictions of Clemens' denials, Pettitte isn't facing legal process or financial ruin or anything else that may inspire him to lie.

Yes, there's some wiggle room in there regarding Clemens' backtracking and talking about his wife, but if that's what Clemens is relying on, aren't we're starting to get into "Ok, fine, I shot him. But I didn't mean to; the gun went just went off" territory? At the very least we now have an admission of HGH in the Clemens home, and the prospect of a nice, uncomfortable deposition of Debbie Clemens if the civil suit goes forward.

Oh, and we now know why Clemens' people didn't act all outraged the other day when McNamee spouted off about Debbie Clemens. Roger is apparently so compromised that he can't even take the high road when his family is involved. Makes you wonder if Hardin knew that when he agreed to take the case and go on the offensive back in December.

I'm going to watch with interest this morning to see what Clemens has to say about it, but the concrete certainly appears to be setting.

*Yes, I know the Rules of Evidence aren't important for today's Congressional scrum. But as I've said before, I think Clemens can survive all of this if he (a) can avoid a perjury rap; and (b) can prevail, somehow, in his civil case, even if everyone goes to sleep tonight believing he's a liar. I think this because the civil case happens last, and today's Congressional hearings will eventually come to be considered more dubious than everyone seems to want to admit today.

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