Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Congressman says Clemens 'has been shamed,' FBI should stop inquiry
WASHINGTON -- A Democratic congressman asked the FBI on Wednesday to drop its investigation of Roger Clemens because the pitching great had suffered enough from the probe into steroid use.
Rep. Anthony Weiner, a candidate for New York mayor in 2009, said the FBI is too busy with more important crimes to spend time trying to determine if the ex-Yankees pitcher lied to Congress about taking performance-enhancing substances.
"Roger Clemens has been shamed. I think the public record is replete with examples of how he did not likely tell the truth. What is the public benefit of continuing with an FBI investigation?" Weiner said.
Weiner also suggested his fellow lawmakers had gone far enough with inquiries into steroids use by professional athletes and should let professional sports leagues handle the matter.
"The real incentive to clean up this mess is not a governmental one," said Weiner, a Mets fan whose district includes parts of Queens and Brooklyn.
The FBI took over the Clemens case after Congress asked the Justice Department to look into Clemens' testimony at a Feb. 5 deposition and a Feb. 13 hearing. Weiner is not a member of the House Oversight and Government Committee, which heard from Clemens.
Clemens testified he never used steroids or human growth hormone; his former trainer, Brian McNamee, testified he injected Clemens with such substances at least 16 times from 1998 to 2001.
If investigators conclude Clemens lied on critical details, he could face charges of perjury, making false statements or obstruction of justice.
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, Weiner wrote: "Whether or not Roger Clemens may have committed perjury should not compete with real national security threats for the FBI's time, attention and resources."
There was no immediate comment from the Justice Department on Wednesday.