Clemens & Congress: What Happens Next?

No. Although he was attacked viciously by a few Republican members of the committee and called a "liar" and "drug dealer," McNamee performed surprisingly well. He admitted that he had been less than truthful with federal agents and the Mitchell committee. He said he withheld some of his information -- and his box of syringes, vials and gauze pads -- in an effort to "downplay the use of these drugs" and protect players. But in the course of interviews with five groups of investigators, including Clemens' detectives, he gradually revealed the information he knew and the physical evidence that he had accumulated. McNamee's statements have been corroborated by Pettitte and Chuck Knoblauch. Mitchell and his staff have endorsed his veracity on numerous occasions. It is unlikely that the committee will recommend charges against McNamee and equally unlikely that the FBI or the IRS will investigate him.

Rusty Hardin and Lanny Breuer, two of Clemens' attorneys, tried to interrupt the hearing with objections and arguments. Isn't a lawyer allowed to represent his client in a hearing on Capitol Hill?

Hardin and Breuer jumped to their feet several times during the hearing, trying to voice objections to questions from the committee. They were particularly vociferous as they interrupted Waxman's description of Clemens' recent contact with the nanny as possible tampering with a witness. They also whispered in Clemens' ears with suggestions for answering some questions. The rules on Capitol Hill do not permit interruptions and objections from lawyers, but they do permit whispered conversations between lawyers and their clients. Waxman allowed the lawyers to say a fraction of what they wanted to say in their objections before telling them to sit down. And he waited patiently as the lawyers whispered to Clemens. Most lawyers are reluctant to whisper to their clients during a hearing; it looks like they are coaching a witness who is having trouble answering a tough question. McNamee's lawyers whispered to their client very rarely. But on at least three occasions, Hardin and Breuer tried to help Clemens in whispered conversations before he answered a question.

This is how Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., started Wednesday's hearing. He ended it by gaveling Roger Clemens to silence. What happens next?

Nothing is certain, but there might be additional investigations of Clemens' testimony and of the nanny situation. It could come from the committee or, more likely, from the team of federal agents who have been working on the BALCO investigation.

When the committee came to believe that Miguel Tejada might have lied in its earlier investigations, it asked the Department of Justice to investigate. That request came from both the Democrat and Republican members of the committee. At this hearing, it was clear that a division of opinion was beginning to develop along party lines, with most Republicans lining up behind Clemens and most Democrats lining up behind McNamee. It is unlikely that the committee will send a bipartisan request for an investigation on the McNamee-Clemens issues. It is possible, however, that Waxman may ask for an investigation of Clemens' possible perjury and witness tampering. He enjoys significant powers as the committee chairman and was clearly unhappy with the nanny situation.

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