NEW YORK - One of Brian McNamee's lawyers said yesterday he believes the Justice Department will open a criminal investigation into Roger Clemens' denials of doping.
Meantime, the chairman of a congressional committee said comments attributed to one of the pitcher's lawyers could be interpreted as trying to intimidate a federal law enforcement official.
Clemens gave a five-hour deposition last week to staff lawyers of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform prior to Wednesday's public hearing. McNamee, former trainer to Clemens, gave a seven-hour deposition.
"I think there will be a criminal prosecution after Wednesday, and that means there will be grand jury proceedings and subsequent proceedings," said Richard Emery, one of McNamee's attorneys.
Told of Emery's comments, Rusty Hardin, Clemens' lead lawyer, said: "They have consistently acted and indicated that they have a pipeline to agents of the Department of Justice. Whether they do or not, it certainly raises a lot of questions."
McNamee says he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone at least 16 times in 1998, 2000, and 2001, accusations Clemens has repeatedly denied. Both are set to testify Wednesday.
"Our position is very simple: Roger did not take steroids, he did not use human growth hormone, and he has demonstrated that he is willing to repeatedly testify under oath as to the truth of those matters," Hardin said.
Hardin was quoted in yesterday's New York Times as saying it would be "brazen" and "unbelievable" if IRS agent Jeff Novitzky, a prosecutor in the BALCO cases, attends the hearing.
"If he ever messes with Roger, Roger will eat his lunch," Hardin was quoted as saying.
Rep. Henry Waxman, the committee chairman, wrote a letter to Hardin yesterday saying some comments by Hardin and McNamee's lawyers were "inadvisable."