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February 26, 2008

Congress may push for Clemens perjury prosecution

The New York Times this morning reports here on the latest doings in the Roger Clemens HGH brouhaha:

A Congressional committee has taken the first steps toward asking the Department of Justice to start a criminal investigation into whether Roger Clemens committed perjury during testimony about performance-enhancing drugs, according to three lawyers with knowledge of the matter.

The committee chairman Henry A. Waxman said a decision about referring Clemens had not been made.  A draft letter referring Clemens, but not his accuser Brian McNamee, had been drawn up by staff members for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform by the end of last week, according to two of the lawyers.  But all three lawyers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly on the matter, said it was possible that McNamee would also be included in the referral by the time it was sent to the Justice Department....

In a related case last month, Waxman and Davis jointly asked the Justice Department to investigate shortstop Miguel Tejada for suspected false statements in 2005, when Tejada spoke privately with committee staff members about performance-enhancing drugs....

Any referral from the committee is primarily a symbolic gesture. The Justice Department can decide on its own to investigate a Congressional perjury case, and indeed, several federal agents were present during the hearing Feb. 13.  One of those in attendance was Jeff Novitzky, the I.R.S. agent who has spent the past several years investigating steroid use among professional athletes....

A referral by Congress is like an extra push to the Justice Department, said Todd D. Peterson, a law professor at the George Washington University School of Law who worked in the department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the 1980s and 1990s. “It simply puts informal public pressure on the Department of Justice to take a look at it and respond in some way to Congress’s action,” he said.

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February 26, 2008 at 08:48 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Utterly Ridiculous! Even though I'm just an average "joe citizen reader", I think that the majority of the nation could really care less about Roger Clemens and what he did several years ago. My tax dollars should not be wasted on a man who I think quite honestly is not worth one ounce of tax dollar time. Our tax dollars should be spent on getting our boys out of Iraq and our economy on the right track. Mr. Waxman is a complete wimp to take on a such a simple issue as this one, a coward and a disappointment to the people.

Posted by: Kurt | Feb 26, 2008 3:40:43 PM

Defense attorney says: I agree with the sentiment that Congress should be worried about other things. We are past that point, however. Anyone who is to testify before Congress should take seriously the oath. I mean, come on -- he/she is before CONGRESS! One doesn't get called before Congress often. IT IS SERIOUS. Serious enough that Clemens had counsel. IF, and I stress IF, Clemens committed perjury, he should face the music, just like anyone else.

Posted by: Chris | Feb 26, 2008 9:20:08 PM

The voters in Henry Waxman's district should look at this man and say he has had his day under the sun. Joe McCarthy reincarnated.

Posted by: mpb | Feb 27, 2008 8:25:00 PM

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