Former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., believes that Roger Clemens, the former Major League Baseball pitcher who has been accused of lying to Congress over his use of steroids, has suffered such substantial financial damage that the Justice Department should not pursue further criminal charges.
Clemens told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in 1998 that he had never taken steroids or human-growth hormone, but he was indicted on six criminal counts in 2010 after a former trainer said he had helped Clemens inject the drugs.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial after prosecutors played video evidence that the judge had ruled inadmissible. A hearing to determine whether a new trial will be held is scheduled for September 2.
But Davis, the top Republican on the Oversight panel in 2008 and a big baseball fan himself who helped instigate a broad look at the blight of steroids in baseball, says that Clemens has suffered enough.
"I don't take lying to Congress lightly," Davis told reporters at a roundtable on Thursday. But, he said, "it's not like this guy walks off scot-free if they don't bring a criminal charge."
"He's lost his money. He's probably lost his chance at the Hall [of Fame]," Davis said. "I think he's suffered enough."
The hearings at which Clemens is accused of obstructing Congress's investigations followed hearings that Davis chaired in 2005 and '06. Davis spent part of the 2008 hearings questioning former Sen. George Mitchell, whose report on steroid use in Major League Baseball provided the evidence about which the government alleges Clemens lied.
Current Oversight and Government Reform leaders have shown little interest in pursuing Clemens's case. Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has been highly critical of the panel's handling of the issue in 2008.