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McNamee, federal authorities, reporter trying to bury Roger Clemens

Jun 14, 2010, 10:37 AM EDT

Given that the Roger Clemens case is one in which a syringe-hording drug dealer who once lied to the police about an alleged sexual assault is accusing a philanderer with anger-management issues of illegal drug use, we probably shouldn’t be surprised when things get even more seedy. But they have gotten more seedy: McNamee now says that Clemens used his charity foundation to pay for his performance enhancing drugs.

That’s interesting and all, but I find the context and the reportage of this story far more interesting. For example, despite the big headline — “Clemens’ Foundation Comes Under Scrutiny” — the fact that McNamee could produce no documentary proof of his allegation when asked to by investigators is not mentioned until the seventh paragraph. Given that McNamee is a guy who actually wrote a 100% fraudulent editorial in the New York Times defending Clemens against drug use several years ago, I am shocked that the Times would bury this little fact as deeply as they do. The Times has first hand experience being burned by McNamee’s lack of credibility, and yet they are not at all critical of this allegation.

It’s also worth noting that the anonymous source of this story is almost certainly a federal agent or attorney (i.e. a person “briefed on the investigation” who can’t be seen as the one revealing the information).  In light of the fact that Clemens can be convicted of perjury based merely on proof of drug use irrespective of the source of payment, what’s the purpose of this new information being leaked? To make Clemens look like a bad, bad man who would use a children’s charity to pay for dirty, dirty steroids. Or at least it would if there was actually any evidence that he did so, which there appears to be none.

I’m not exactly Roger Clemens’ biggest fan, and I think there’s a pretty decent chance his butt is going to be in a sling over his Congressional testimony and probably should be, but this story strikes me as a hit job. McNamee is offering unsubstantiated garbage to the feds, the feds are leaking it to the press in order to make Clemens look like more of a slimeball than he is, and the reporter is, at best, being far too credulous in passing it all along.

At the risk of hyperbole, allow me to say that I can’t point to a single person involved with this investigation who has behaved decently.

  1. Jonny5 - Jun 14, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    I just wonder how many of our Tax dollars have been wasted by this Unscrupulous witch hunt? I mean, yeah, he did wrong. But at which point do you say “enough is enough”? I mean, hang him on Perjury if you can, but get it over with already please!!!!

  2. pat - Jun 14, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    A Grand Jury leak that could potentially get the IRS involved in a perjury investigation just days after Novitzky and the Federal government were dealt a blow by an appeal court in the Bonds investigation. What are the odds?

  3. Mars - Jun 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    I don’t like the guy either however; this is too much. We know he perjured himself and who knows what else this self-righteous ass has done.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Jun 14, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    We don’t know what else he’s done. The point is, there’s nothing in this article which suggests that Schmidt or the feds knows what he’s done either, and I find that troubling. Maybe Clemens and his charity are as dirty as hell, but unless you can report that based on some sort of evidence or information, you probably need to dig more.
    This matters here in that there’s a good chance that a jury is going to be seated to judge Mr. Clemens soon. Having a bunch of unsubstantiated things floating around like this don’t exactly make for a fair trial. And that matters, even for a guy like Clemens.

  5. Joey B - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    1-If I learned one thing in life, it’s that there is always more to come. It’s like they say-no one ever burns out just one credit card. People that think they can always get over, will always go too far in every endeavor.
    2-I think Craig is going down the Canseco route again. When he first came out with his book, everyone pooh-poohed it. Now everyone takes it as fact. Every bad thing said about Clemens has turned out to be credible.
    3-As an attorney, I’m surprised you’re not seeing the squeeze. Drop hints about tax evasion, and maybe good ole Roger might start thinking he should cop a couple of smaller pleas, do a couple of years in Club Fed, and be done with it.
    4-At the end of the day, follow the money, and follow the intellect. Both lead to Emory. He’s the smartest guy in the room. You always have to ask why. Why did MacNamee come up with this story? You think he was bored? If he kept the evidence on the PED use, why would it surprise anyone that he kept evidence on tax evasion?

  6. YANKEES1996 - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:04 PM

    There is not a single one of these guys that is entangled in this mess that does not deserve to be punished in some way. However, what the government has here is liars telling on bigger liars and that means no one is going to be found guilty, so I agree with Johnny5 just get it over with and lets move on already!

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Joey — I’m totally open to the possibility that there’s something amiss with Clemens and his charity. There is nothing in this article, however, that give me any reason to believe it.
    If the story was: tax documents show Clemens committed improprieties with his charity, fine, I’ll buy it. I won’t buy “Brian McNamee says that Clemens paid me with his charity except I don’t have any evidence of it.”
    Given that these are serious charges, there needs to be more than just this, it seems, before one can make such an accusation.

  8. kimmer - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM

    Didn’t Macnamee get forced into this situation by blackmailing federal authorities? Wasn’t he forced to “tell the truth or we will crucify you.” If his “story” comes out false, won’t he be put away and have air piped to him? How quickly we forget. This is the classic con game of the feds playing both sides (clemens and macnamee) against the middle (the press), while distracting the press from their own medievel, psychologically persuasive, time tested techniques of gathering the facts.

  9. Joey B - Jun 14, 2010 at 1:43 PM

    Normally, I’d agree. But Mac’s lawyer has been 2-3 steps ahead of Clemens’ lawyer all the way. This has all the trappings of yet another Emory/Hardin trap. As soon as Hardin has Clemens testify that he never misappropriated a single dollar of the charity’s funds, whoops, guess what Mac finds? That’s right, the cancelled checks, which were right next to used syringes, which were right next to the pictures of the country singer, which are right next to some other damning piece of evidence.
    All along, Clemens needed consigliere, and not a lawyer. As soon as this came out, someone told Pettitte to come clean, with a plausible explanation. 99% of it disappeared overnight. Clemens will wind up in jail. How could any lawyer allow his client to slide into that abyss.

  10. Matt - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    I don’t see what the big deal is…in buying the steroids with children’s charity money was done to make him a better pitcher and therefore a bigger star. In making himself a bigger star he is going to be able to raise even more money for the charity which is better for the kids.
    The moral of the story is that before you ban steroids, think of the effect on the poor children!

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