WASHINGTON — The authors of the Mitchell Report on performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball were ordered to give pitching legend Roger Clemens more of the evidence they used to accuse him of using steroids and human growth hormone.
U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, in a ruling filed Thursday, said Clemens needs the investigators' notes of interviews with his accusers to defend himself in a criminal trial next month on charges he lied when he denied using drugs.
The notes were taken when the investigators questioned steroids dealer Kirk Radomski and longtime Clemens trainer Brian McNamee. Both said they provided drugs for the seven-time Cy Young winner. Clemens has denied the accusation.
Walton gave the Mitchell Report investigators until Saturday to say whether they plan to appeal. An appeal could threaten to delay the July 6 scheduled start of the trial.
Clemens issued a subpoena in February on the DLA Piper law firm, where former Sen. George Mitchell led an investigation into drug use for Major League Baseball. The Mitchell Report came out in December 2007 and named Clemens as one of several players who used steroids and human growth hormone.
Clemens denied the charges, raising questions about the report's credibility, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings in February 2008 to investigate the dispute. Clemens testified he never used drugs in his 24-year career. Prosecutors say that was a lie and have charged him with false statements, perjury and obstruction of Congress.
Clemens' subpoena demanded DLA Piper turn over all its notes of interviews with McNamee, Radomski and fellow player Jose Canseco, presumably to look for weaknesses or inconsistencies that could aid his defense. The firm responded with just five of 25 documents it said were covered by the subpoena, claiming the rest were internal attorney work product.
Clemens attorney Rusty Hardin argued at an April 21 hearing that it was unfair for the defense team not to have access to the material relating to McNamee and Radomski in particular, because federal officials required both to be questioned by the Mitchell team as part of cooperation agreements in criminal probes and were present for the interviews.
Walton decided to review the McNamee and Radomski materials and held a private hearing with DLA Piper lawyers two weeks ago to consider whether they must turn them over to Clemens.
He ruled in a 39-page opinion that the interview notes and memos are accurate depictions of the witness's own words and not legal strategy or personal assessments of the investigators. Walton said the firm only has to give Clemens portions of the documents that apply directly to him and can black out other information.