Grand jury looking at Clemens
WASHINGTON - Nearly a year after Roger Clemens told Congress he did not use performance-enhancing drugs, a federal grand jury is being asked to determine whether he should be indicted on charges of lying under oath.
The grand jury probe was confirmed to the Associated Press yesterday by two people who were briefed on the matter. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because grand jury proceedings are supposed to be secret.
Congress asked the Justice Department to look into whether the seven-time Cy Young Award winner lied last February, when he testified under oath at a deposition and a public House hearing that he never took illegal performance enhancers.
That contradicted the sworn testimony of his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, who said under oath that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens last played in the major leagues in 2007, with the New York Yankees.
The Justice Department brought the case to a grand jury - which is based in Washington - after an 11-month FBI inquiry. A grand jury allows prosecutors to get sworn testimony from witnesses and collect documents. The investigation is being led by Assistant US Attorney Daniel P. Butler, the prosecutor in the D.C. Madam case.
"We don't know anything about this, but it is no surprise," Clemens's lead lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said through spokesman Patrick Dorton. "It's part of what a prosecutor does."
The grand jury's involvement first was reported by ESPN.com.
McNamee's lawyer, Richard Emery, said his client has not been called as a grand jury witness or received a subpoena. But Emery does expect McNamee to testify again.
"We will be cooperating. We've been in contact with the federal authorities for a year and a half," Emery said. "We look forward to the results, which we fully expect will show that Brian has been telling the truth all along."
Clemens's former teammate, Andy Pettitte, also has not received a subpoena. Pettitte corroborated some of McNamee's claims in a sworn statement to Congress.
Former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski, sentenced to five years' probation last year after pleaded guilty to distributing steroids and laundering money, led investigators to McNamee.
McNamee told federal agents and baseball investigator George Mitchell that he injected Clemens more than a dozen times with steroids and HGH from 1998-2001.
Clemens's repeated denials of those accusations drew the attention of Congress - and the former pitcher then made more denials under oath.
Clemens also filed a civil defamation suit against McNamee, a case pending in federal court in Houston.