Before I left work, I penned a quick entry called Clemens' Seven Deadly Sins which highlighed the seven key topics that Congress believes Clemens possibly committed perjury. Since then, Game Of Shadows author Mark Fainaru-Wada has provided his review of the 18 page document listing Clemens sins. Normally, I'd grab some key points and discuss here. However, I'm lucky enough to have a guest "writer" who can lend some talent to this discussion.
At the end my last posting, I mentioned I'd try to hit up Craig from Shysterball for some of his legal expertise. Sure enough, he was kind enough to do more than I could have asked for. Below you'll see his thoughts on each of the seven items. (I'd still take a good read of Mark's thoughts as the pertain more to the evidence/facts than the legalese.)
Craig's commentary in italics
- MR. CLEMENS'S TESTIMONY THAT HE HAS "NEVER TAKEN STEROIDS OR HGH" If they could prove that one either way they would have at the hearing, so a perjury investigation isn't going anywhere.
- MR. CLEMENS'S TESTIMONY THAT MR. MCNAMEE INJECTED HIM WITH LIDOCAINE All they have is Brian McNamee saying "no I didn't" and lots of evidence of McNamee lying about other stuff. No way to definitively determine who is telling the truth about that.
- MR. CLEMENS'S TESTIMONY THAT TEAM TRAINERS GAVE HIM PAIN INJECTIONS I'd have to go back and check context, but who is going to say team trainers never gave him pain injections? I'm SURE they did at some point.
- MR. CLEMENS'S TESTIMONY THAT HE RECEIVED MANY VITAMIN B-12 INJECTIONS We all know from "Juiced" that B-12 is code for steroids, but I'm guessing there was some real B-12 too. To prove he was lying, wouldn't they have to prove that he never got any? How do they do that?
- MR. CLEMENS'S TESTIMONY THAT HE NEVER DISCUSSED HGH WITH MR. MCNAMEE. More he-said/he-said. If one of the he's wasn't a credibility nightmare, it might go somewhere. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
- MR. CLEMENS'S TESTIMONY THAT HE WAS NOT AT JOSE CANSECO'S HOME FROM JUNE 8 TO JUNE 10, 1998 You know what? They could probably prove this one. Unfortunately it is (a) the least relevant thing of them all; and (b) Clemens hedged enough about not "thinking" that he was there that he could easily claim that he "misremembered."
- MR. CLEMENS'S TESTIMONY THAT HE WAS "NEVER TOLD" ABOUT SENATOR MITCHELL'S REQUEST I have total faith that there is a flunkie agent who will say that he was derelict in his duties and failed to tell Clemens about the request.
Upshot: this is a total waste of time. Clemens may very well have lied, but given McNamee's issues there is no untainted source of truth to check against him so you can't mount a prosecution of him.
If it makes Waxman feel like he made less of a mistake, however, hey, that's worth the millions. I mean, I'd hate for him to have poor self-esteem over it all.
Craig, thanks again for lending your expertise to me here.