It was a day of misremembering, misunderstanding, and mystifying inconsistencies, and, in the end, committee members' conclusions about whether or not
"Having a guy like [Pettite]" as an independent witness, Cummings says, "that makes a difference." Cummings said that he sees Pettitte as a "very religious" and moral man who "told us things [in his deposition] that we didn't even know," as opposed to just corroborating other peoples' accounts.
But as much as Pettitte's image fortified McNamee's statements, McNamee's own persona did not help. He was excoriated by
"McNamee is still in denial that he was a drug dealer," says Issa. "I didn't find him credible because he told so many lies and he is still in denial...he acts as if he is the victim. That's what a drug dealer would say." And, in contrast to Cummings, Issa had his doubts about Pettitte's testimony, if not his character. "The problem is [Pettitte] said in some statements, '[Clemens] is my friend, I think this is what I heard,'" Issa says. "It's locker room talk, it's not actual evidence."
The actual evidence -- the syringes and gauze pads that McNamee stored in his basement -- is now in the hands of federal investigators, and committee staff members thought it more likely those syringes, as opposed to the suspicions of the committee members, will determine whether or not there is a Department of Justice investigation into either Clemens or McNamee.
Committee chief of staff
Even if a Justice Department investigation is not imminent, we may be in store for more Clemens vs. McNamee, as the defamation suit that Clemens' lawyers filed in Houston moves along. The potential value in that case of the syringes and gauze pads that McNamee turned over already seems to be the hottest point of contention between the lawyers.
Hardin added that Clemens admits to having received injections from McNamee --- lidocaine and vitamin B-12, he claims -- which means his DNA may well be on the needles. Asked why Pettitte would say he spoke with Clemens about Clemens' HGH use,
Clemens himself was terse after the hearing. He stopped briefly to address a crowd of reporters jammed in the lobby of the Rayburn House Office Building. "I'm glad for this opportunity, finally," he said. "I hope [in the future] I get to come to Washington on different terms." As he turned to leave, Clemens uttered, "that's it for me."