Roger Clemens next in queue to discuss Mitchell Report

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, left, walks with his wife Laura, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Monday. Susan Walsh, The Associated Press


New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, left, walks with his wife Laura, on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Monday. Susan Walsh, The Associated Press

By Howard Fendrich

WASHINGTON – New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte spoke under oath for about 2 1/2 hours Monday with lawyers from a congressional committee looking into drug use in baseball.

After the deposition, Pettitte did not take questions from reporters as he walked out of the offices of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Wearing a pinstriped gray suit and bright striped tie, Pettitte was accompanied by his wife and three lawyers.

His interview is part of preparation for a Feb. 13 public hearing expected to focus on Roger Clemens’ denials of allegations about his use of performance enhancers made in the Mitchell Report by former personal trainer Brian McNamee.

“At the committee’s request, Andy Pettitte voluntarily met with representatives of the committee this morning, and fully answered all of the inquiries made of him in a sworn deposition,” two of Pettitte’s lawyers, Jay Reisinger and Thomas Farrell, said in a statement. “Out of respect for the sensitive nature of these proceedings, and out of deference to the committee’s request for confidentiality, we, on behalf of Mr. Pettitte, will not comment on the nature or specifics of his testimony.”

Staff members for the committee either declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

    Subscribe to our sports newsletter!

    Clemens is scheduled to give a deposition to committee lawyers Tuesday, followed by McNamee on Thursday.

    “Roger is not going to take the Fifth Amendment,” one of Clemens’ lawyers, Rusty Hardin, said in an e-mailed statement sent by spokesman Joe Householder. “He is going to answer the committee’s questions truthfully under oath.”

    Pettitte lent credence to former Senate majority leader George Mitchell’s findings by acknowledging in December that he tried human growth hormone for two days in 2002 to help deal with an elbow injury.

    A former Yankees teammate of Pettitte and Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch, spoke to committee staff Friday.

    The day before, an employee of the sports agency that represents Clemens and Pettitte went to Capitol Hill to be interviewed.

    McNamee said he injected Clemens with HGH and steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner has denied the allegations repeatedly and in various settings – but not under oath.

    The 35-year-old Pettitte, who won four championships with the Yankees then helped the Houston Astros reach their first World Series, returned to New York last season and went 15-9.

    This offseason, he put off retirement and agreed to a $16 million, one-year contract to play for the Yankees in 2008.

    McNamee also said he acquired HGH from former New York Mets clubhouse employee Kirk Radomski for Knoblauch in 2001 – and McNamee said he injected Knoblauch with HGH. Radomski pleaded guilty in April to federal felony charges of distributing steroids and laundering money. He is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, then speak to committee staff on Feb. 12.

    Last week, a lawyer representing McNamee said he believed Pettitte would tell Congress he discussed HGH with Clemens between the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

    The lawyer, Earl Ward, said Pettitte talked about HGH with McNamee following a conversation with Clemens.

    Richard Emery, another lawyer for McNamee, has said the trainer and Pettitte also discussed steroids use by Clemens.

    Letters sent by committee chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis to Clemens, Pettitte and Knoblauch on Jan. 16, requesting their appearances both at the hearing and a pre-hearing deposition or interview, said: “The committee asks that you provide testimony about allegations in Senator George Mitchell’s report … that you and other Major League Baseball players used performance enhancing drugs during your professional baseball career.”

    AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.