With Congressional grandstanding comes legal games.
Right now, Roger Clemens does not have to testify in front of Congress or agree to a deposition in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Henry Waxman and Co. have asked Clemens to cooperate, but Clemens would simply be granting Congress a favor in doing so. He has yet to be legally compelled to testify.
And guess what? It doesn’t sound like he’s too keen to come forward on his own. T.J. Quinn has the story:
After saying repeatedly that Roger Clemens will answer any questions Congress wants to ask him, a source familiar with the inquiry said Saturday night that attorney Rusty Hardin is hedging over the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s request to depose Clemens under oath next week because it might interfere with his defamation lawsuit against personal trainer Brian McNamee.
The source said Hardin is also making “noises” about not turning over a taped conversation between McNamee and two investigators for Hardin’s office recorded Dec. 12, the day before the Mitchell report was released.
Raise if your hand if you’re surprised. Exactly.
While tales of reported abscesses on Clemens’ buttocks may end up throwing McNamee’s credibility into doubt, I’m not at all surprised that Hardin would opt not to have Clemens testify in front of Congress. Our esteemed legislative body isn’t the tightest lipped organization, and Hardin wouldn’t want his legal strategy plastered all over the pages of the nation’s newspapers. On the surface, this does represent an about-face for Hardin who said that Clemens would definitely testify at a hearing, but a deposition may hold more legal weight.
Meanwhile, Quinn’s sources say that nothing has been decided yet. Clemens may yet agree to be deposed or Congress could resort to a subpoena. No one knows. For a change.