Clemens & Congress: What Happens Next?

Several FBI and IRS agents were in the audience at the hearing. The agents leading the BALCO investigation already have interviewed McNamee and are investigating the authenticity of his box of syringes and gauze pads that he claims were used when he injected Clemens with HGH. Their investigation could lead to a grand jury inquiry of Clemens. But that is far from certain.

Some committee members attacked McNamee and his veracity. Others attacked Clemens. Who is the most important witness in this dispute?

Andy Pettitte is the most important witness. Although the committee members clearly disagreed on the relative veracity of McNamee and Clemens, they all agreed that Pettitte is a man of integrity who responded to the committee's questions with truths that were painful to him. His testimony about his friend Clemens was a most painful act of integrity, both sides agreed. Both the Democrats and Republicans thought so highly of Pettitte and his cooperation that they granted his request to be excused from testifying at Wednesday's hearing. Excusing Pettitte might have been a mistake. If he had been present to tell his story of HGH and his conversations with Clemens, it could have been the most illuminating testimony in the hearing. It is of considerable benefit to Clemens that Pettitte, with his material highly damaging to Clemens, was not present to add to his problems. Any decision on the prosecution of Clemens will turn not on McNamee's credibility but on that of Andy Pettitte. Lester Munson, a Chicago lawyer and journalist who reports on investigative and legal issues in the sports industry, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

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