While the bipartisan Senate FISA legislation languished on the desk of House Democratic leadership, Henry Waxman had his sights focused on more important issues than national security. He grilled Roger Clemens on whether he had ever had human growth hormone (HGH) injected into his buttocks. Now even Waxman says his hearings were a colossal waste of time, and blamed Clemens for it (via Michelle Malkin):
A day after a dramatic, nationally televised hearing that pitted Roger Clemens against his former personal trainer and Democrats against Republicans, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said Thursday that he regretted holding the hearing in the first place.
The chairman, Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, said the four-hour hearing unnecessarily embarrassed Clemens, who he thought did not tell the truth, as well as the trainer, Brian McNamee, who he thought was unfairly attacked by committee Republicans. …
“I’m sorry we had the hearing. I regret that we had the hearing. And the only reason we had the hearing was because Roger Clemens and his lawyers insisted on it.”
That’s news to Clemens and his attorney. Rusty Hardin had argued to have the entire matter dropped, wondering — rightly — why Congress needed to investigate Roger Clemens in the first place. They had asked Waxman to drop the matter weeks ago, but Waxman insisted on taking depositions in the case. Hardin explained that he wanted the hearings so that the House Oversight Committee couldn’t take the testimony out of context for their final report.
So, while FISA reform legislation that passed with a 2-1 bipartisan majority in the Senate couldn’t get addressed by Democratic leadership, Waxman instead investigated the ass of Roger Clemens. It puts “oversight” in a whole new context, doesn’t it?
At least Waxman has the grace to be embarrassed by the spectacle, albeit for the wrong reasons. Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, can’t be found to answer for the curious and prurient priorities of the Democrat-controlled House.