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Sunday, March 02, 2008
Why did the Committee Turn on Clemens?

Mike has written a couple recent SI pieces (here and here) on the unraveling of Clemens' legal strategy and the resulting referral from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Particularly in the second piece, he describes the way that committee Republicans, who had staunchly defended him and attacked Brian McNamee mercilessly and personally during the hearing, have joined Democrats in wanting to investigate Clemens further. I wrote about the surprising partisanship, and received some good comments, here and here.

My question, for Michael (who, unlike the rest of us, now has sources) and anyone else with a guess: Why? Why did the GOP turn on him? Speculation after the hearing was that the GOP rallied around Clemens because he is a Republican and a Friend of W--but none of that has changed. Did it just become so irrefutable that something was amiss in Clemens' testimony? Perhaps, but GOP members could have stood on a "this is none of our business" principle and avoided a referral. What could cause Davis, Burton, and Shays (in particular) to do a 180 and decide Clemens likely lied and McNamee, whom they all called a liar in one form or another during the hearing, is not even worth further investigation?


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