A month after House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., released a memo questioning whether former ballplayer Roger Clemens lied to Congress about his alleged steroid use, Republicans fired back Tuesday, releasing a report of their own that disputes some of the Democrats' prior conclusions and likens the Democrats' report to a "prosecutorial indictment" of Clemens.
The Republican rebuttal dismisses as irrelevant the Waxman memo's outline of "seven sets of assertions, made by Mr. Clemens in his testimony, that appear to be contradicted by other evidence before the committee, or implausible."
"The Democratic staff memorandum's characterizations and conclusions regarding these other matters is simply not relevant to the core question of whether Clemens knowingly lied about using anabolic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH)," the minority report said.
The 109-page Republican report includes new testimony about Clemens' former trainer Brian McNamee's allegations that Clemens attended a 1998 party at then-teammate Jose Canseco's house, Clemens' statements that he received vitamin B-12 injections from McNamee, and McNamee's accusations that Clemens developed an abscess on his buttocks, an injury that could have been the result of steroid injections.
It is the latest salvo in a bitterly partisan issue dating back to the pitcher's contentious Feb. 13 hearing.
In late February, the committee's ranking member, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., joined Waxman in successfully requesting a Justice Department probe into whether Clemens had perjured himself. But today, Davis released a report that claims to include new information.
"Did Roger Clemens lie to us?" Davis said in a statement. "Some of the evidence seems to say he did; other evidence suggests he told the truth. It's a far more complicated picture than some may want to believe. Memories fade and recollections differ. That's human nature, not criminal conduct. My concern is the integrity of sworn statements made to Congress."
The majority party's staff wasted no time in responding.
"There doesn't appear to be anything new in the report. And it continues to be important for the Justice Department to review this matter," a committee spokesperson told ABC News.
At the committee's hearing, Clemens vigorously refuted McNamee's allegations that the ballplayer had taken performance-enhancing drugs at least 16 times in 1998, 2000 and 2001. Many Democrats consistently questioned Clemens, while most Republicans targeted McNamee.
Said Davis at the time, "Someone is lying in spectacular fashion."
McNamee's allegations were supported by Clemens' former teammate Andy Pettitte, who said in an affidavit that Clemens had discussed steroid use with him. Clemens denied that, responding that Pettitte "misremembers."
Both Pettitte and another former teammate, Chuck Knoblauch, acknowledged to the committee that McNamee's allegations in the Mitchell Report, that they had both used performance-enhancing drugs, were true.
Reached by ABC News, Richard Emery, McNamee's lawyer, denounced Tuesday's report as "a partisan hatchet job that betrays that the Republican members are once again carrying water for Clemens and his political connections."