Although it's a small detail in the Mitchell Report, the Clemens team initially seized on the fact that Mitchell had gotten the fact wrong, in an effort to impugn the senator's other, larger, findings.
During Clemens' closed door deposition, another one of this lawyers, Lanny Breuer, said, "We were able to establish, and will be able to establish categorically, without question, that our client wasn't there." The lawyers gave the committee receipts from a golf outing that day, and also provided an affidavit from Canseco, saying that the slugger was disappointed that Clemens had not attended his party.
But after the deposition, the Clemens' team was contacted by the father. The Clemens camp then changed its story.
At his nationally televised hearing, Clemens acknowledged that he may have stopped by the party to drop off a family member. He testified, "Could I have gone by the house later that afternoon and dropped off my wife or her brother-in-law, the people that golfed with me? Sure, I could have."
McNamee has suggested at times that Clemens may have gotten steroids from other people present that day at the party.
Refuting those claims at his hearing, Clemens said, "I know one thing — I wasn't there huddled up with somebody trying to do a drug deal. That I know for sure."
Emery said, "I haven't seen the photo but I believe it exists. I draw the obvious conclusion. But it only corroborates totally believable testimony from Brian."
If the claim is true, legal experts will debate whether federal prosecutors could claim that Clemens lied about the party, pointing to the fact that a picture in a pool is not indicative of dropping off a family member.
With the starkly different stories between Clemens and McNamee, much of the debate has centered on the credibility of the two men.
UCLA law professor Laurie Levinson says that the half-sentence Clemens uttered at the hearing, in which he acknowledged that he might have been at the party, might work in the pitcher's favor. She said, "He could come back and say there was some confusion, something like, 'I thought they were asking me if I was there doing drugs.' Legally, it comes down to whether the prior statement was actually false, or was just incomplete. It goes to intent."
Congress is still considering whether to refer the case to the Department of Justice for further investigation. That decision could come as early as this we