McNamee’s lawyer predicts presidential pardon for Clemens
One of Brian McNamee’s lawyers predicted Roger Clemens will be pardoned by President Bush, saying some Republicans treated his client harshly because of the pitcher’s friendship with the Bush family.
Richard Emery made the claims Thursday, a day after a congressional hearing broke down along party lines. Many Democrats were skeptical of Clemens’ denials he used performance-enhancing drugs and Republicans questioned the character of McNamee, the personal trainer who made the accusations against the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.
“It would be the easiest thing in the world for George W. Bush, given the corrupt proclivities of his administration, to say Roger Clemens is an American hero, Roger Clemens helped children,” Emery said in a telephone interview.
“It’s my belief they have some reason to believe they can get a pardon.”
During Wednesday’s session before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Clemens repeated his denials under oath, which could lead to criminal charges if federal prosecutors conclude he made false statements or obstructed Congress.
“I’m not aware of Mr. Clemens having been charged with anything,” White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said after being told of Emery’s remarks.
Emery cited Bush’s decision last year to commute the 2 1/2-year prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, his vice president’s former top aide.
Libby was convicted in the case of the leaked identity of a CIA operative.
In addition, Emery said he thinks Bush would pardon Clemens even before an indictment or conviction, as President Ford did with President Nixon.
During the hearing, Clemens cited his friendship with Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush, a baseball fan who regularly attends Houston Astros’ games.
Clemens said he was on a recent hunting trip when the elder Bush called with words of support.
“When all this happened, the former president of the United States found me in a deer blind in south Texas and expressed his concerns that this was unbelievable, and stay strong and hold your head up high,” Clemens testified.
Emery said as he thought about the testimony overnight, Clemens’ reference to the call from the elder Bush convinced him the questioning by Republicans was a concerted effort.
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