Roger Clemens lied to congressional investigators and has made other statements that are untrue in his denials of the accusations that he used steroids and human growth hormone, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman said Wednesday.
"During his deposition, he made statements that we know are untrue," Waxman, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said at the hearing on drugs in baseball. "In other areas, his statements are contradicted by other credible witnesses or are simply implausible."
Waxman and Rep. Tom Davis, the committee's ranking Republican, said after the hearing that they had made no decision on recommending action by federal prosecutors on perjury.
Former trainer Brian McNamee told the panel he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone 20 times, four more than he initially reported to investigators. Clemens, an All-Star pitcher, repeatedly denied to the committee that he ever used performance-enhancing drugs.
His reputation and Hall of Fame candidacy potentially at stake not to mention the possibility of criminal charges, should he lie Clemens said: "I have never taken steroids or HGH. No matter what we discuss here today, I am never going to have my name restored."
For some members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Clemens' denials rang hollow, particularly in light of a new account of his discussion of HGH use, revealed by his friend and former teammate Andy Pettitte in a sworn affidavit.
"It's hard to believe you, sir," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told Clemens. "I hate to say that. You're one of my heroes. But it's hard to believe."
McNamee testified that he told the truth about Clemens' use of performance enhancers and said the seven-time Cy Young Award winner's denials are lies.
"I injected those drugs into the body of Roger Clemens at his direction," McNamee said. "Unfortunately Roger has denied this and has led a full-court attack on my credibility. I have no reason to lie, and every reason not to."
Pettitte, who also worked with McNamee, confirmed McNamee's testimony that the trainer had injected him with HGH in an affidavit given to the committee.
McNamee's recollection that Clemens attended a party hosted by former baseball player Jose Canseco was one area questioned by several committee members. Later, Waxman said Clemens' former nanny, who was interviewed by the committee, supported McNamee's claim on the attendance.
Clemens, McNamee and Charles P. Scheeler, a lawyer who worked on former Sen. George Mitchell's report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball, shared the dais at Wednesday's hearing in Washington.
The panel was investigating steroid use in Major League Baseball for the second time since the report released in December by Mitchell said performance-enhancing drugs in the sport were widespread. The report identified almost 90 players with links to drug use, including Clemens, Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch, another former teammate with the New York Yankees.
Wednesday's hearing, which adjourned after over 4 1/2 hours of questioning, included suggestions from Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., that McNamee's actions were no different than those of a drug dealer and ended with Waxman gaveling down an interruption from Clemens as the chairman tried to make his closing statement.
Waxman said in opening remarks that Knoblauch had confirmed McNamee's statements that the trainer injected him with HGH. The chairman also said Knoblauch told the committee he used the drug himself on other occasions.
Pettitte, excused from testifying Wednesday, played a part in the hearing via a deposition and affidavit.
Cummings used Pettitte's testimony, which was shown on two large television screens in the hearing room, in his questioning of Clemens. He asked Clemens repeatedly if Pettitte was telling the truth when he said Clemens told him that he used HGH. Clemens said numerous times that Pettitte "misremembered."
McNamee, under questioning from Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., admitted to lying repeatedly to reporters writing about steroids in baseball. Burton also raised doubts about the Canseco party, citing evidence provided by Clemens' attorneys that the pitcher was playing golf at the time of the gathering.
McNamee told the committee Wednesday that he remembered seeing Clemens at Canseco's party. Later, Waxman said Clemens' former nanny remembered Clemens, his wife and his children not only being at Canseco's house but also staying overnight.
Waxman also went on to say that the actions of Clemens, who spoke with the nanny prior to the committee's interview, "raises the appearance of impropriety."
With McNamee saying he injected Clemens with steroids and Clemens denying the claims, perjury charges may be brought against either if the committee believes one of them is lying. Perjury or making false statements to federal agents both carry penalties of up to five years in jail.
Miguel Tejada is the subject of an FBI probe for possibly lying to congressional staffers about using steroids. At the committee's first hearing on the baseball's drug issue on Jan. 15, Waxman and Davis requested the FBI to investigate the Houston Astros' shortstop after he was named in the Mitchell report.
Mitchell said McNamee told his investigation that the trainer injected Clemens with steroids or human growth hormone at least 16 times between 1998 and 2001. McNamee also said he gave HGH to Pettitte in 2002 and Knoblauch in 2001.
Clemens has said McNamee only injected him with vitamin B-12 and the painkiller Lidocaine. The former trainer denied the claims in today's opening statement. Pettitte said he took HGH, agreeing with McNamee's statements.
Last month, McNamee gave federal investigators vials, syringes and bloody gauze that he said he used to inject Clemens with steroids in 2001. Photos of the evidence were handed over to the committee last week. Clemens' lawyer Rusty Hardin said the evidence was "manufactured trash and waste."
Clemens met with more than half of the 40 members of the committee since last week to personally present his case.McNamee was required to tell Mitchell the truth as part of a deal he struck with the U.S. Attorney's Office to avoid prosecution. If McNamee lied to Mitchell, he may be charged with criminal violations including making false statements.
Contributing: Lorraine Woellert, Bloomberg News; Howard Fendrich, Associated Press