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Congressman says Andy Pettitte was the key to Clemens' indictment

Aug 20, 2010, 3:03 PM EDT

We’ve all been talking about the difficulty of the Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee he-said-he-said game, but at least one prominent member of the congressional committee that led to this mess said that the key to the referral to the U.S. Attorney’s office (which eventually led to the indictment) was Andy Pettitte’s testimony:

Andy Pettitte’s sworn statement that Roger Clemens admitted using human growth hormone was a critical factor in a federal
grand jury’s decision to indict Clemens on charges he lied to Congress,
according to the top Republican on the House committee that held a 2008
hearing on performance-enhancing substances in baseball.

“If it was just Roger versus [Brian] McNamee, it’s a different
matchup . . . Without Pettitte,
neither McNamee nor Clemens was that articulate or credible.”

That top Republican is former Rep. Tom Davis of Virgina, speaking to Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.

Andy Pettitte, it’s worth noting, is not having a great week.  His groin won’t heal, for one thing. And now he’s coming to grips with the fact that the experience he so obviously dreaded back in 2007-08 is coming back again, and with it his need to testify.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:19 PM

    It’s a shame he couldn’t simply shoot up some HGH, again, and miss only a start or two.

  2. Mike Gianella - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:25 PM

    So the key to the Clemens indictment was relying on the guy who initially lied about his HGH use and then threw his dad under the bus in trying to cover up the initial lie?
    Good times…

  3. Old Gator - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Oh, it gets better. Pettite (whom Clemens affectionately used to call “Lefty”) was supposed to be Roger’s best friend. This is just relentlessly depressing, isn’t it?

  4. The Real Shuxion - Aug 20, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    But hey, he only used it a couple times. Not like that is a lie…….

  5. David - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:14 PM

    Congressman Tom Davis is demonstrably dead wrong.

    Andy Pettitte was not listed nor alluded to in the indictment. Therefore, the grand jury did not indict Clemens based upon anything that Andy Pettitte said. (Which, by the way, Chuck Knoblauch also corroborated.)

    What Davis probably meant was that Pettitte’s sworn testimony was “the key” to his own belief that Clemens was lying. But, again, Pettitte provably did not factor into the indictment.

  6. David - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:22 PM

    I want to amend my last post. There, I wrote that Tom Davis was wrong to say that Pettitte’s testimony were responsible for Clemens’s indictment. After reading the quotes, Davis never said that at all. He was speaking only about the 2008 hearings in congress, not about yesterday’s indictment.
    So Davis wasn’t wrong, the headlines at ESPN and here at HardballTalk are wrong.

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    David — the indictment is a direct result of congress referring the matter to the US Attorney’s office. The referral was complete with bullet points as to what congress thought was untruthful with reference to the testimony of Pettitte and others.

  8. Kiwicricket - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:29 PM

    So Roger and Andrew had deep political discussions while with ‘Mac’ down in Texas?

  9. David - Aug 20, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Okay, but congress’s letter to the justice department and then the grand jury’s indictment are still two totally separate things. If you want to conflate them, I think that that’s fine (like you said, they are closely related). But I don’t think that ESPN (or you) should put words in Tom Davis’s mouth because some people – like myself – believe that misrepresents what he said.

  10. Md23Rewls - Aug 20, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    I’m sure George Mitchell and Bud Selig are happy. This whole thing has really helped baseball’s image. What a shiny work of investigative muscle to unearth these sordid secrets and bring them to the light of day. Baseball is better for all of this. Yeah. What a joke.

  11. James - Aug 20, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    Abraham Lincoln once said, “I always tell the truth so that I don’t have to try and remember what the lie was.”
    Andy Pettitte did the right thing by coming clean about his own PED use and Roger should have followed his example. Andy will be able to sleep at night for the rest of his life. His number could possibly be retired as a Yankee and if he wins another series with them this year or the next he might even get a bust in monument field next to Jeter and Mo one day.
    Why? Because he told the truth.
    Clemens may not even make it into the Hall of Fame now, and he was guaranteed a spot there just based on his Red Sox career alone.

  12. Glenn - Aug 20, 2010 at 5:56 PM

    That’s all he admitted to because that’s what was known. He may have used PEDs since high school for all we know. Again, he was willing to lie before he got caught red-handed so who says his final statement is the absolute truth.

  13. andrewlw - Aug 20, 2010 at 8:08 PM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5iqpb6L7pY&feature=related
    28 seconds in right at the end.

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