McNamee’s lawyers demand tape’s release

NEW YORK (TICKER) —Lawyers for Brian McNamee have demanded that Roger Clemens release tapes of their client talking to investigators working on the pitcher’s behalf prior to the release of the Mitchell Report.

In a press release issued late Monday, attorneys Earl Ward and Richard Emery claim that McNamee spoke to investigators authorized by Clemens and New York Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte to try and discover what would be in the Mitchell Report.

“Brian told these investigators the same thing he told the federal authorities and Senator Mitchell,” the press release said. “It appears that these investigators may have recorded the interview and we hereby demand the tape be released in its entirety immediately.”

Attached to the press release were two letters, one signed by Clemens and one by Pettitte, authorizing investigators Jim Yarbrough and Billy Belk to work on their behalf.

The New York Daily News reported on its web site early Wednesday that the investigators asked McNamee if he would reconsider his claims that he injected Clemens with steroids.

“Brian told me they asked him to recant,” Ward told the Daily News on Monday. “I spoke with him (Monday) and he confirmed it.”

Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin denied the claims.

“It’s a crazy bald-faced lie,” Hardin told the newspaper following Monday’s bizarre press conference in Houston, when Clemens and the lawyer played a 17-minute tape of a telephone conversation between Clemens and McNamee.

In the tape - recorded Friday - Clemens repeatedly stated his innocence, and was not corrected by McNamee.

McNamee asked Clemens: “What do you want me to do?”

“I need somebody to tell the truth,” Clemens said.

McNamee’s lawyers responded to Clemens’ decision to play the tape angrily.

Emery told the New York Daily News that the conversation was supposed to be a “man-to-man talk,” but instead Clemens used the tape to try and prove his innocence to the media.

“What does (Clemens) do, he calls him back with his lawyer in the room and a tape recorder going,” Emery said. “He wants to play that game, he’s going to get buried. I have no compunction about putting him in jail.

“This is war.”

McNamee’s lawyers said that the former trainer contacted Clemens because his ill 10-year-old son might have his spirits heightened by a phone call from his favorite player. Instead, Clemens used McNamee’s vulnerability to attack him, the legal team said.

“He’s angry that the information about his son was manipulated in that fashion,” said Ward.

“The original text message to Roger said, ‘My son is sick, can you call him at home?’ Brian was not even living there. He had no intention of talking to Clemens. (Clemens) never did call his son.”

Before playing the tape, Hardin, said it did not provide conclusive evidence that McNamee had lied when he told baseball investigator George Mitchell that he had injected the seven-time Cy Young winner with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001.

“The tape added nothing,” Ward said. “All Brian says on the tape is that he didn’t want to hurt Clemens and felt bad about what he was obligated to do.”

Only one person has to give consent for a phone conversation to be taped, according to state law in both New York and Texas.


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Updated Wednesday, Jan 9, 2008