Bloomberg News

Clemens Gets Access to Lawyers’ Papers in MLB Steroid Probe

June 23, 2011

(Updates with judge’s reasoning in third paragraph.)

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Ex-New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, whose perjury trial is set for July, won access to documents prepared by lawyers Major League Baseball hired to investigate players’ steroid use.

In a decision made public today, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton in Washington ordered the law firm DLA Piper LLP to turn over to Clemens notes and memos its lawyers made in interviews with Brian McNamee, Clemens’s former trainer, and Kirk Radomski, a former clubhouse assistant for the New York Mets.

The law firm said the documents were protected by attorney confidentiality rules. Walton said Clemens is entitled to portions of those documents that contain statements about Clemens made by Radomski and McNamee. Clemens, who is accused of lying to Congress about his alleged steroid use, said in a filing that the information was needed to attack the credibility of key witnesses at trial.

“Heightened protection for these documents is not warranted because the statements contained therein are an accurate reflection of the witnesses’ statements, not the attorneys’ mental impressions of what the witnesses had stated or what the attorneys thought was important to record,” Walton said in his 39-page decision.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen in Washington, declined to comment. Clemens’s lawyer Michael Attanasio in San Diego, didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment. David Clarke, a lawyer at DLA Piper, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Possible Lies

Rusty Hardin, a lawyer for Clemens, argued at a hearing in April that the materials held by DLA Piper may contain information showing that that McNamee, a witness for the government, lied to Congress and to prosecutors. Clemens’s defense turns on showing McNamee lied, Hardin said.

The steroid report, published in 2007, was written by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, a partner at DLA Piper.

Clemens, 48, was indicted in August on one count of obstructing a congressional investigation, three counts of making false statements and two counts of perjury. Clemens, who also played for the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros over a 24-year Major League Baseball career, has pleaded not guilty.

He faces a $1.5 million fine and as long as 30 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Jury selection is scheduled to begin July 6.

The case is U.S. v. Clemens, 10-cr-00223, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

--Editors: Fred Strasser, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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