Congressman Henry Waxman sent Roger Clemens's attorney, Cowboy Rusty Hardin a letter of reprimand Sunday following Hardin's perceived threat against IRS agent (and BALCO investigator) Jeff Novitsky. Hardin, who has been threatening to kick a great deal of ass, threatened one too many times. To the New York Post:
Rusty Hardin, the lawyer representing Roger Clemens in the pitcher's red-hot denials of performance-enhancing drug use, said Sunday with dismay in his voice that he has always suspected his client could end up embroiled in a federal prosecution.
He made the comments moments before Henry Waxman, the chairman of the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, sent out a blistering letter reprimanding Hardin for making intemperate comments in the media about a federal officer deeply involved in the sprawling BALCO steroids investigation
What did Rusty say? This:
"If he ever messes with Roger, Roger will eat his lunch," Hardin said in comments in a Sunday article in the New York Times that predicted Jeff Novitzky, an I.R.S. special agent, would attend Wednesday's hearing on the Mitchell Report that features Clemens and his accuser, former Yankee strength and conditioning coach Brian McNamee. As part of his agreement with federal authorities not to be prosecuted for steroid distribution, McNamee agreed to cooperate with Mitchell's private report on illicit drug use in baseball.
This ain't traffic court in Lubbock, cowboy. Don't be saying anything about lunch, because Congressmen take lunch very seriously:
"Under one interpretation it can be seen an attempt to intimidate a federal law enforcement official in the performance of his official duties," Waxman wrote. "I have never met with or spoken to Mr. Novitzky and have no information whether he intends to attend the hearing. As an independent branch of government, our inquiry operates independently of the executive branch. And as a witness in our independent investigation, it is not your client's prerogative to dictate who attends or does not attend the hearing. Given your long service as both a prosecutor and a private attorney, I trust you did not intend your comments to be a signal that there could be adverse repercussions to a federal law enforcement official for attending the hearing or taking other official actions."
Hardin now believes that there will be a Justice Department investigation of Clemens. Guess who gets to continue to collect billable hours at a high rate? That's right, Cowboy Hardin. Perfect.