Mike Duffy trial: Day 58

Live coverage from the Mike Duffy trial as the senator discusses his interactions with the PMO and Nigel Wright.

  • We're back in courtroom 33! Stand by for testimony from Duffy about the $90,000 cheque!
  • Bayne returns to February 7, 2013. Did you meet senator Tkachuk during the day? Yes. The news story has surfaced; Tkachuk has made public statements saying that Duffy is within the rules. The story now had 'traction' and CSO was calling it a 'problem.' The PMO and senate leadership were having a back and forth. Up and to this point they had treated the story with 'classic strategy,' give it no oxygen. What did Tkachuk tell you on the 7th? Stay quiet, don't cooperate with the media. Duffy says Tkachuk told him Deliotte already had all the information they needed from senate finance; don't cooperate. Duffy told him that his situation was different from other senators in the news; mine was a question of residency. If Deliotte was the proper body to make judgments about residency, get someone else who could pronounce on it, like a former judge.
  • You're charged of committing a criminal fraud and yet you were calling in a judge to review all this? Absolutely. I thought everything was in order. Tkachuk had said publicly that everything was in order. Nigel Wright said 'I've checked you've met all the rules and there are other senators in the same situation. The accountants don't need to see this.' Did Tkachuk agree with your suggestion of calling in a judge? He said he'd mention it to Marjorie, and that there would be some sort of legal opinion on Duffy's constitutionality. Tkachuk inferred he's ask a legal expert, but we'll still send you off to Deliotte. Duffy said he didn't want to be in the same bucket as the other senators, he knew his case was different.
  • Did they ever bring in a judge for legal opinion? Not that I'm aware of. What happened to Patrick Brazeau on Feb. 7? He was thrown out of caucus without a hearing, and then shortly thereafter suspended from the senate without anyone listening to his side of the story. Duffy says he was thrown out of the senate three days later. Bayne asks then about 2.5 hours after meeting with Tkachuk did you also speak with Ray Novak and Nigel wright? I did. What did they say in those conversations? Bayne says don't forget they've telling you to employ 'classic strategy.'
  • Kristen Everson/CBC

  • Duffy got up to his office at 4 pm. It's Nigel and Ray. And of course when it's Ray you know it's the pm. They said this story is out of control, Mulcair has beating the drum in the House of Commons. We know you haven't broken the rules, but we're working on a plan. They told him that he had to repay the money, Duffy says I followed all the rules, I don't owe any money. They said, 'yes we know it's unfair but this is politics.'
  • After your conversations. Christopher Montgomery of LeBreton's office sends an email to Chris Woodcock and others in PMO - he sends it at 4 pm - and Montgomery tells them that the internal economy committee has decided to 'lump' Duffy in with Harb, Brazeau. Nigel Wright sends an email at 5:47 reporting to others in the PMO about his call with Duffy. Wright says they will call in a legal expert to review residency rules. 'The purpose of this is to put Mike in a different bucket to prevent him from going squirrelly.' Duffy says: I wanted to say this was a total smear job by the Ottawa citizen, I wanted to go on tv to tell my side of the short. The last thing they wanted me to do was go on the air and say I'm innocent. I was baffled, why wouldn't you want me to?
  • Duffy says he would have preferred something more independent from the other two senators; they continued to put the thumb on me, don't go on tv. They had a larger strategy. 'Mike you'll get on there and get emotional. And that'll do more harm than good.' Duffy says they didn't want me to do any harm to the PM. Duffy says the Ottawa Citizen would not be stopped by the fact; they wouldn't take Tkachuk at his word, Duffy says. They were of to get me.
  • Nigel Wright tells other members of the PMO that he's discovered Duffy can't resident in NCR, and claim expenses for having a primary residence in PEI. Wright says in the email now that there has to be a plausible way out of it: he has to be disciplined and repaid. Duffy says this is a big change in tone, he says they had all said my expenses were within the rules; that his residency claims were not problematic. Had you been told in the past you had mistake and had to repay? Never. Not to the very end, Duffy. Bayne asks Duffy, had there ever been an indication that this is a rules problem? No it was always a political problem, 'they told me to be a good soldier, follow our strategy, and it'll all work out fine.' Duffy says if they showed me where I broke the rules, I would have acquiesced. Duffy says he never broke the rules, it was all about getting Mulcair off Harper's back. It was never been about anything else, Duffy says.
  • Were you aware that after your call with Novak and Wright did you know they'd develop a different strategy? They just told me to follow their instructions, stay away from scrums and it'll all work out. Later on February 7, Wright sends an email to Marjorie LeBreton with a proposed statement, that included a line that they were seeking independent legal advice on a definition of primary residency. Wright said this would please Duffy. LeBreton says 'this gets us where we want to go.'
  • Wright says Duffy has morphed into a 'very big problem.' Why was it a big problem? because McGregor was being fed more ammo to go after him, and Mulcair was not letting up, Duffy says. Email 39 on February 7th. Mike Duffy sends an email at 11 pm, he says that he was claiming expenses from his primary residence in PEI only because he was told he 'could' at this orientation. Duffy says he wishes he could rewrite that email to say 'I was told I must' claim expenses. Duffy says that Wright never asked about the back story, or what he was told after the Guardian story about his residency emerged. Duffy says that the simple truth would have helped Wright, it was better than trying to sculp something. 'They were doing anything they could except saying I complied with the rules,' Duffy says, just to get postmedia of their back.
  • On February 11. Email 54. Nigel Wright says that he met with Duffy and that he told Duffy he had to say he made a mistake, and he must repay, under the condition claiming a primary residence in Ottawa would prevent him from representing PEI in the senate.
  • On February 8, 2013. 'The professor is back,' the Guardian newspaper published another story with the same UPEI professor raising questions about the constitutionality of Duffy's appointment (same professor as Dec. 24, 2008). Senate leadership had told him in 2008 to ignore the professor. On Feb. 11, 2013, Janice Payne (Duffy's former lawyer) writes to Deliotte, telling them Duffy wanted to participate in their audit. Duffy wanted to tell them that he 'was 100% in conformity with rules,' and he wanted to tell them the truth. How would that fit into the PMO 'mistake repay' scenario? It didn't fit in, 'they were throwing me to the lions. They wanted me to hide away somewhere and shut up.'
  • Janice Payne writes to Timm at Deliotte; she tells him that Duffy wants to meet with the audit team. Duffy wanted to 'go to Deliotte show them everything, tell them everything, and put my future into their hands. They had been retained by the senate and I wanted to be totally cooperative with them in anyway they wanted.' Now we're looking for an email from Feb 8 to Bill Curry from Globe and Mail. He tells him that he's never had a question from senate finance; never raised a question about his travel for 'senate business,' and Duffy says he wants to challenge the 'unfair process.' Duffy says he was not allowed to speak publicly. Did you believe it was fair or unfair that you were to admit you made a mistake and repay? I thought it was unfair. I begging with Ray 'don't make me do this. My life will be ruined,' because they wouldn't tell the truth to Canadians. Duffy says if he was to repay there is a presumption that he owes the money; why would I put a stain on my life, my wife, children and grandchildren. I'm not a cheat, I didn't break the rules. I wanted wanted some mercy. I was begging with 'all these born again Christians,' give me some decency. It's on them. I told Nigel If I made a mistake I'll pay it back, but I'm not going to repay money I don't owe. It's politics at its most dispicable. After what I've been through, why would anyone want to be involved?'
  • Duffy says he had an 'icy' meeting with Wright on Feb. 11; he wouldn't invite Duffy into his office; Duffy says he knew Wright since he was university student working in Mulroney's PMO. All of a sudden you're a leper, I don't want to get to close to you. I know you don't owe the money, I know you didn't break the rules. But this has gotten out of control. And you have to admit you made a mistake. You will repay. It was not a two way conversation. It was just orders being shouted at me, Duffy says. Wright left in a huff. He saw Flaherty when leaving Langevin Block, I told him, 'I have to pull my for lock and admit I made a mistake,' Flaherty says to Duffy 'these people are f**king unbelievable.' Duffy says i have broken my neck for these people, I went to every dog and pony show, I never said no to these people, and now they're turning around and saying 'you didn't spend enough time in PEI.'
  • Duffy tells Bayne that he would get up at 3 am to pick up the Ottawa Citizen to find out what the latest 'hand grenade' was under my mat. Everytime he turned around he was being hit with another surprise; and then there is a letter that emerges from Marjorie LeBreton, implying Duffy was guilty (after she had assured him all along he was fine). Duffy briefed Janice Payne, his lawyer. From Feb. 7 to when you were kicked out of the caucus, you were represented by Payne? Yes. Duffy forwards to Wright a letter he got from his lawyer, she said that Duffy was within the rules; she's reviewed the rules and she believed that Duffy was fully compliant. He was sending it to Wright to say 'see!' And he was hoping that would have some sway, because the next day he was supposed to meet with the pm after caucus (on the Wednesday).
  • I was being thrown under the bus, because I didn't immediately follow the orders from the PM to admit mistake and repay, even when he and everyone knew that I hadn't make a mistake. Duffy wrote in emails that he was being treated like Michael Chong. Was your health a concern? Yes that week my blood sugars were running to 12, 13, when they should be 5. He was meeting with the PMO in between medical appointments. The Feb. 11 meeting with Nigel Wright 'left him numb,' and his blood sugar was an ongoing problem, and other health issues.
  • Did you end up having major open heart surgery at the end of the hear after all these events? I did.
  • Did you meet with the PM on Feb. 13, I did at caucus. Duffy wanted to plead for the PM's intervention for this full attack on me. At this point did you agree with Nigel wright that you'd go along with this scenario? I never agreed with Wright, Duffy says. Duffy writes to Wright that he wants to see the language of the senate rules before 2010; he wanted to bolster his case that he was never in violation of the rules. Were you aware that Novak was writing to Wright that they needed to 'staunch the bleeding?' I knew that's what their thinking was at the time. Duffy also writes to Tkachuk saying he can't frame a response to the provoke without the senate rules. Why were you asking senate leadership for the rules? I wanted to underscore I hadn't broken the rules. Did they ever prove to you that you broke the rules? Never. 'Who are you to want to see the rules,' was their attitude, Duffy says. Have you agreed to Nigel wright's order to repay? No.
  • At this point have you agreed to capitulate to the orders of Nigel Wright? Never. I wanted the rules; it's hard for Janice Payne because she didn't have the complete legal framework. Duffy wanted her to have them so she could say to the PMO 'you're out to lunch.' Duffy sent Nigel Wright a list of the number of days he was on PEI; Duffy also sent Wright a PEI supreme court case that ruled on what a PEI resident was;
  • Duffy was fighting to the end; Duffy was trying to tell Wright that his lawyer also thought he was within the rules. Duffy says its 'insane,' because Wright himself checked in December and he was within the rules, and he's a lawyer. Duffy says he didn't want to be dragged into the Deliotte audit, kick and screaming, and forced to repay money he didn't owe. 'No honest person would agree to do what they had planned,' Duffy says.
  • Wright tells Duffy he expects Deliotte will find him guilty; and that they'll find his primary residence is in Kanata. Wright has changed his tune since December, when he did his own analysis and found everything to be a-ok (which was also in an email btw). Janice Payne writes again to Deliotte on Feb. 21, she wants Timm to tell her what's going on with the audit, when can Duffy meet with the auditors.
  • What happened during your meeting with the PM? I would meet him many weeks after caucus. A number of Conservative MPs has been positive at the mic, we need to stand behind Duff. After the meeting he went to see the PM, just the two of them. 'PM I'm being lynched here. I didn't break the rules. I'm being broken down on all sides.' Where's the PM? He's wearing a hockey sweater, and he's sitting on the table at the dias, and Duffy is standing. Nigel Wright was standing 40 feet away; Wright usually took notes of things that needed to be followed up on from caucus. There's a photograph of Duffy speaking with Harper on that day, it's from the PMO photographer. Does that photograph represent that conversation? It does.
  • Duffy says every week he'd have a conversation with Ray Novak, he'd give him an update from his travels from the 'rubber chicken' circuit. Duffy waited til most people were gone; he's making his case to the pm that what was going on was unfair. He had put his shoulder to the wheel on his behalf, and now he was made to do something that's unfair. I'm being railroaded, I didn't believe I made a mistake, I'm following the rules I was given when I was sworn in. Harper said 'well you spend only 66 days on PEI,' Duffy says that's a lie. I've been there more, or on the road for you on the circuit! 'I know it seems unfair Duffy I know you didn't break the rules but the rules are inexplicable to our base. You have to pay the money back. Nigel make the arrangements.' I was in shock. I left there and went down the fall to the senate I couldn't believe it. How could someone be so disloyal to someone who has been so loyal to him? Duffy says.
  • MIke #Duffy testifies he pleaded with 'born-again Christians' in PMO not to repay expenses cbc.ca/1.3365593 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWR504rXIAAWDsU.png

  • Did you capitulate? No. I told him 'I was all over Canada on your behalf. how can you say that's not senate business?' Harper would only say that he knew he didn't break the rules, but the base could not accept them. Duffy says it was all about politics, public relations, not about doing what's right.
  • Bayne is introducing January and February 2013 Duffy diaries into evidence. We're back.
  • Bayne asks Duffy to turn to Feb. 7. Diary shows Duffy flies to Ottawa arrives at 1:18 pm. Bayne recounts Duffy's testimony; he met Janice Payne, meets with Tkachuk, and speaks to Novak and Wright. On the 8th he was to fly to Charlottetown, cancels it. On Feb. 9 he speaks to Michael Chong about being 'thrown under the bus,' he knows a thing or two about that. On February 11, diary records 240.0 at 7 am, (weight) his blood sugar is at 11 (should be at 5). The next morning (after Wright meeting) it's at 17 (whoa!), goes to 14. These swings are hard on your body, Duffy says, it affects your mood. It's like you're constantly fighting to feel normal, he says. At 11 am on Feb 11 he had a call with his doctor, was having gut pain. At 12:15 he has Wright meeting, where left feeling stunned. And then the LeBreton letter is released (where she implies Duffy's guilt).
  • At the meeting at the Langevin Block, Wright ordered Duffy to repay. Duffy then emails Wright later that day asking what LeBreton's letter means for the talks. Wright says it does 'not make our case more complicated' to Duffy; but just before sending that email he writes to LeBreton's office 'thanks for making this more difficult.' Duffy felt that that LeBreton was setting him up, cooking up a deal with the Liberals in the Senate, to force him to repay with interest. Did you speak to Wright again on the 11th? Yes I told him I felt I was being railroaded; he said he felt someone in senate leadership was trying to throw me under the bus, weren't interested in the truth. 'The gallows were being built by LeBreton and Cowan,' Duffy told Nigel, they're trying to separate me as a bad apple. Nigel said no, no you're too emotional, you can trust me, do the right thing and all will be well.
  • Duffy calls his GP - Brian Dick - about his sugar blood sugar situation; his gut pain; he calls the diabetes clinic. Then at 2pm Brazeau is suspended from the Senate, without a hearing. His blood sugar at the end of the day is at 17 (!). On the 13th there is a note about Duffy meeting with Harper about the issue after caucus. On the 14th his blood sugar is 14.9. Next day, he contacts an internal medicine specialist at Riverside. His GP made the arrangement because of his gut pain; he contacts his diabetes doctor. He leaves the hospital, and on the 17th he's working on pulling together material for Deliotte. He's putting together a list of when he was in PEI, when he was in Ottawa, so he can present them to Deliotte when he meets them (if his lawyer secures a meeting with the auditor).
  • 'If their hands are on your throats,' here are some things you could do, Payne writes to Duffy. It includes compiling a calendar of days he was in PEI; case law from PEI about what qualifies as an island resident. Have you given in to Wright's demand on the 11th, and 13th from Harper? Not at all. Beth Marshall, Newfoundland senator, had been tasked to lead a committee to investigate residency problems for other senators; Duffy spoke to her on the 15th, Marshall says she had been waiting for Duffy to call. She says Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau had not been sent to her, they had been sent off on a different path. Marshall says she needed to hear from Tkachuk. She never did. He never got the chance to tell his story to the Marshall committee.
  • Duffy says this photo is conversation where Harper told him he'd have to repay his expenses (PMO photo)
  • On February 18, the day after he's working on the brief for Deliotte. He flies to PEI. His blood sugar is 8.7. He's on a senate break until Feb 26. He's on PEI on the days leading up to his appearance on PEI television. Duffy was alone, Heather was in Pembroke, her mother died a few weeks earlier. Duffy says he was emotional, beaten down, but he wax soldiering on. During this week, on the 'Scenario for Repayment' is being passed around the PMO. Duffy had no part in it; had no input as to the statement he would make, the Q&As. 'It's the PM's scenario being put together by his staff on his behalf,' Duffy says. On Feb. 19, there's a telephone call with Nigel wright, Janice Payne, Kory Teneycke on 'possible settlement,' there was pressure to get Duffy to agree to a settlement, 'he'd admit a mistake and voluntarily repay money he didn't owe.' What were you going to have to say and do? He'd have to go on tv and admit he made a mistake, and repay whatever allowances he had received and that he wouldn't claim them again the future. The imperative was to get this done by Friday, because they didn't want the PM to answer another question from Mulcair the next week when parliament returned.
  • Mike #Duffy says Harper told him to repay expenses because of the party base. Follow live: cbc.ca/1.3365593 http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CWSFDoRWoAAci9Z.jpg

  • On Feb. 18 email between Nigel and Chris Woodcock and Benjamin Perrin; they're concerned that the 'story will never die,' Duffy didn't know about this. They are concerned that Marjorie LeBreton's legal affairs advisor, Chris Mcreery, isn't down with the plan they've concocted. 'It's pregnant with meaning,' Duffy says. Nigel wants to avoid a 'Chinese water torture,' the PM doesn't want that, and Nigel says they have to get this sorted out for the PM. Nigel is disappointed that Marjorie has not been entirely cooperative, has not tamed senate committees. He wants to 'close out the Duffy situation,' by having Duffy admit wrongdoing.
  • Duffy spoke to Nigel on the 19th while he's on PEI. Spoke to him at 5:45. But before that at around 4, Nigel tells Marjorie that he's going to 'move to the final step of resolution,' with Duffy, even after Duffy had told him he won't go along with admitting wrongdoing. How did you feel after you received his call? I was beaten down, I was meeting with groups around town but I was just worn out. He writes an email to his lawyer; there was no more 'trust us, it'll all work out,' the focus became 'laser like' from the PMO. The pressure was immense; the PMO had friends call Duffy telling him to do this for Harper, if you don't do this you'll be thrown out like Brazeau. Duffy writes to Payne on the 20th, at 10 pm. He tells Payne what he discussed with Nigel. He tells her that he will be sending on photos of renovations, days he spent on PEI in a given year. Had you agreed, by this point, to give in to Nigel demands? No. He tells Payne that Nigel told him that Deliotte would make a ruling on Duffy next week, even before hearing from Duffy. Duffy says Nigel also told him that the internal economy would be releasing its own report on residency requirements.
  • Tell us about the call. Nigel told Duffy that the story has dragged on too long; admit mistake repay; Duffy says I didn't make a mistake, we got all the numbers. If I wasn't here I was in Ottawa or on the road for public business. Nigel got into a very convoluted argument that Duffy could still be senator from PEI. Nigel told the police he 'got pissed' on this phone call. Duffy says Nigel got quite angry, it should be clear to you! Duffy says the forms aren't clear, I have to put my primary residence as being from PEi that's the province I represent. 'Nigel was treating me like a stupid child,' Duffy says. Duffy says to him 'please send me your written analysis, the privy council office must have given you a report that shows I broke the rules,' Nigel practically slammed down the phone, he was very angry. Did you agree with that he was telling you what to do? 'If you keep defying the PM you'll be out of the caucus and out of the senate like Patrick Brazeau. He said 'listen to me you're defying the pm. You're going to do this,' Duffy says 'I need proof I broke the rules.'
  • Duffy said his fear was that if he does go along with this 'hocus pocus,' his legitimacy as a senator from PEI would be undermined. Duffy wanted to tell his story to Deliotte, he wanted them to know the truth. If they said I violated, I would have repaid. 'I didn't want to take money to which I wasn't entitled. But all along the advice I was getting was to take them,' Duffy says pointing to Tkachuk's instructions. Nigel told Duffy that Deliotte would make a ruling without hearing from next week. Internal economy was going to release a report saying you weren't entitled to sit as a senator from PEI, Nigel told Duffy. He believed that threat, because of the Marjorie LeBreton-Cowan letter that implied his guilt. He feared the headline 'Duffy not entitled, he's not qualified,' if the integral economy released a report. 'I was whipped I was on my back.' Did Nigel's threats have an impact on you? 'I fought and fought and they pulled that knife out and held it over my head I felt I had no choice.'
  • On Feb. 19, Kory Teneycke, d.comm to Harper, told Duffy to go along with PM's plan. It's not just Nigel Wright now. John Wallace - the senator - called Duffy to reassume him, told him to hang in there. But all the other calls Duffy received that day were telling him go along. Duffy says he feels 'wasted,' beat up at the end of the 19th. Duffy was still desperately trying to find another way, even after the calls and Nigel's threats. On Feb. 20, Duffy went to Staples and printed off his diaries, he tried to take out some personal stuff. He was preparing a package for PMO; he's still trying to convince them that he could prove he was within the rules; that everything he was doing was public business, and he was qualified to sit as a senator. They made a mad dash to Purulator before 5 pm to send the Duffy diaries to Nigel. On the 20th who did you receive calls from? Tkachuk told Duffy 'you have to do it for the pm to get it out the way. It's not about whether you broke the rules. It's all politics,' Tkachuk concedes he told him he was within the rules; he told him the rules at orientation. Tkachuk gave him the 'soft soap,' told him to pull a mea culpa, and then we'll put you out of Deliotte. Duffy says but David I want to see Deliotte! Tkachuk says that would just keep the story going; 'we'll get you out of Deliotte,' the same man who was on internal economy who called for an independent audit. He said he'd take care of ending the audit? Yes, Duffy says, 'he was afraid it would drag on. I'll get Deliotte shut down.'
  • Duffy said he had become the fall guy for all the problems that had been created. He spoke to Vern White. Duffy says he's a 'former RCMP officer and a thug!' Duffy apologizes, but he says it's true. He told him to go along with what the PM wanted. Angelo Perscheli, former d.comm to Harper, had a very close friendship with Duffy. Perscheli called Duffy saying 'you will be all alone,' what does that mean Bayne asks? That the party would be against you, Duffy says. Duffy says he would be thrown out of the caucus, the Liberals would be against him. Perscheli tells him to take the easy way out, go on tv. Duffy says he can't do it, he didn't break the rules. Nigel calls him - he's back to 'Mr. Sweetness, my 'old buddy Duff.' - he tells him about the scenario. They tell him the lines, and what they want from him, and they tell Duffy they have money. His last card, Duffy said, was 'even if I wanted to pay it back I don't have the cash,' Nigel says 'no, no you were on the road for the party, Irving has all kind of things, don't worry about that.'
  • Duffy tells Janice Payne that he feels threatened; that internal economy was going to try and get him thrown out of the senate; he's getting all these calls. He says on the night of the 20th he feels numb. When did you capitulate? It was the threat from Nigel, after everything I've seen, i knew they wouldn't hesitate to do this. In my mind I thought 'this is it. I'm cooked.' Payne responds to Duffy in an email, she tells him that a PMO lawyer called her and put some things to her. Duffy says he took that as a sign that Nigel wouldn't talk to him anymore, would be through lawyers. It's gone from he's a good guy, to he's a villain. 'If you don't do this, were going to throw you out of the senate,' was the message Duffy said he got loud and clear. No job with a mortgage. 'They were going to put me in a corner. These people are ruthless.'
  • Duffy says the PMO was relentless, with pushing the scenario for repayment. Where did suggestion that they'd pull you from Deliotte audit come from? Tkachuk. That they'd give you money? Nigel. Did you ever ask Nigel for money? Never. I told him I didn't want any money, Duffy says. The whole scenario repayment was crafted by the PMO, Duffy says. Did you feel pressure on the 19th and 20? Oh yeah, I was hanging my finger nails. I didn't know who I could trust. I spoke to heather but you can't hang all of this on your wife. He confided in Payne, but she had other obligations. 'I was being best over the head by thugs like Vern White,' Duffy says. It was awful. Payne is asking - begging really - in an email to PMO to let Duffy go to Deliotte, have them review Duffy's documents, she believes they'll find nothing wrong.
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