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.
    On Feb. 21, Perrin reports to PMO team that 'Duffy will consider,' the scenario. Nigel writes back saying that Mike should be 'walked through the support we would provide.' Duffy says it's all their doing, I'm not even in on the email loop.
    Lunch time back at 2:15.

    Mike Duffy has been recalling a meeting he had with then-prime minister Stephen Harper after a Conservative caucus meeting in 2013. Here's a story from that year comparing Duffy and Harper's statements on Duffy's Senate expenses.

    Mike Duffy vs. Stephen Harper on Senate expenses: a timeline

    The latest RCMP court filings have turned the spotlight on alleged communications between a Conservative senator and a partner at the auditing firm that investigated Senator Mike Duffy's expense claims, making it more challenging to follow who has said what during this controversy. Here is a timeline of statements and comments made by some of the key players in the issue.
    #Duffy this a.m.: Harper told me to repay expenses to please the 'base,' & Nigel Wright will make arrangements CBC.ca/1.3365593 #hw
    Follow our #Duffy live blog for all the twists and turns this afternoon. CBC.ca/1.3365793 #hw #cdnpoli
    We're back! Duffy is in the box.
    After everything that happened on the 19th and 20th - when did you capitulate? 'When I woke up on the 21st, after Nigel's threats, there nothing else I could do. I have to do this. I have no choice. I won't be able to get the toothpaste back in the tube.' He thought his colleagues (on internal economy) would declare him ineligible to sit a senator
    On February 21, Nigel tells the PMO colleagues 'Mike is going to do it,' but Nigel says he doesn't consider it final until he heard from Janice Payne. Would you have been demanding anything to make this happen? No, Duffy says. He was resisting at every turn, I was making no demands on anyone. Payne has a list of her own demands, or clarifications of what Duffy has been promised by Tkachuk and Nigel. Nigel says to his colleagues that there will be 'an arrangement to keep him whole,' on expenses. They will back him up on his PEI residency claims. Duffy says he had no role in the arrangements with the party to have it pay his expenses.
    Nigel and his team crafted the plan: 'None of it would have happened if it didn't have the prime ministers' ok,' Duffy says. They wanted it all done by Friday, to protect the PM from questioning they wanted to stand up and say 'it's all moot. Duffy has already repaid his expenses.' All these capitulation negotiations happened on a week that the senate was in recess. Duffy says he was told to keep everything secret, all these negotiations were between us, he was told. It all culminated with Duffy going on television on Friday, Feb. 22. He goes on CBC and says I've made a mistake; he says he was in a very emotional state. He felt like a 'prisonsr of war in a North Korean camp where they stand you in front of a camera and you repeat their lines.'
    Nigel wants Duffy to send an email to the steering committee of internal economy 'mimicking the lines,' that he said on tv. Chris Woodcock drafted the letter for Duffy himself on Feb. 22, to send to Tkachuk. The PMO scripted it. Duffy sends it to Tkachuk to CSO three minutes later, it's verbatim. On the day of the interview, Duffy sends an email to Novak telling him that's it's the worst thing to ever happen; he begging. He tells Novak that waiting this out was wrong; he doesn't want to do a 'voluntary restitution.' He says he has a problem of 'taking a dive for the leader when I am innocent. I am totally at the mercy of the media,' he writes to Novak. Duffy hoped to prick Harper's conscience by sending this to Novak. Duffy hoped he say to himself 'Duffy helped get me a majority.' Novak says no to Duffy, 'I think we can put together a comms strategy that will work.'
    Did they in fact walk you through your lines? Yes several times in fact they wanted to make it sound natural. The Q&A that came from Nigel, answer as to why he is doing this? 'To make it right.' Duffy was to say he was repaying publicly, but they knew that wasn't true. Duffy knew it was to come from the party. What were they telling you you were doing? 'They were telling me I was doing the right thing. I had a lawyer named Nigel Wright that it was the right thing to do, I had a former police officer, Vern White, telling me it's the right thing to do. I had senate leadership telling me it's the right thing to do. I had a lawyer in the PMO tell me it's right. Everyone in a position of authority told me it was the right thing to do.'
    On Feb 25. Tim Harper writes in the Star, on the first day back, that this was a stunt. 'And they were right,' Duffy says. On February 26, there's an email. Tkachuk has found out that what Duffy owes is much higher. Senate clerk apologizes for misleading the PMO. Did you ever mislead Nigel Wright about the amount? No never. The media smell a rat, Bayne says. Timm from Deloitte writes to Janice Payne, they want documentation from Duffy. They are now actively seeking a meeting with Duffy that they had been requesting for weeks. On Feb. 27, Chris Woodcock writes that Duffy should stay with Deloitte until Tkachuk can get him out of the audit. Duffy didn't know anything about this. Nigel says it's all frustrating. Internal economy has to work on getting him removed from the Deloitte, PMO is trying to stickhandle. So all new developments after his appearance on tv. Amount changed, media smells a rat, Deloitte wants its meeting with Duffy.
    Nigel writes on Feb. 28 that PMO is not in full control of how internal economy committee works (should it?), cannot move as fast as they want to pull Duffy from Deloitte audit. Senator Gerstein, head of the Conservative Fund, had an 'in' a Deloitte. Duffy never knew about that. Did you know they were going to script a conclusion to this so-called independent audit? Never. Nigel gets frustrated on March 1. Payne is asking about Deloitte, Nigel doesn't want to give her all the details. Nigel says that PMO is pushing for Deloitte to find nothing is wrong, because Duffy would have repaid his expenses.
    Were you aware that Nigel had a problem pulling off the scenario? No. What was Nigel's bigger potential problem? Deloitte would find I had not broken the rules. Nigel says this would all be easier if Mike 'didn't have outbursts in senate caucus,' Duffy takes issues with that line. He says that senate leadership knew that Duffy had not break the rules; Duffy says he fought back st sneering from his colleagues in senate caucus, he told them that he didn't break the rules and Nigel Wright knows that he didn't break the rules. 'I let the cat out of the bag,' when I said. 'Was I supposed to sit there and shut up when the leadership is also sitting there knows it's a lie?'
    While the PMO, Gerstein are trying to approach Deloitte what were you supposed to do? Sit there and shut up and avoid the media. Did you stop trying to contact Deloitte to meet them? Yes I did, Duffy says. On March 5, Payne writes to members of the PMO. She's asking them to confirm that they'll withdraw Duffy now that he has agreed to repay expenses.
    Were you aware that Nigel and the PMO were doing all the work behind the scenes to fix the Deloitte audit to their liking? Not at all. Did you know they were working secretly to 'lock the independent auditor in,' no I wasn't aware. did you know they were trying to keep you away from Deloitte until they had them 'locked in' on what the PMO wanted from the auditors? No. Duffy is not on any of these emails. They were all working to keep him away, and they were scripting a response for Duffy to use when asked why he wasn't cooperating with auditors? Had no idea. PMO didn't want Duffy to meet, or provide any documentation to Deloitte.
    Looking at an email from Payne to Gary Timm; she attached a letter from Duffy to Tkachuk. Duffy apologizes for inadvertently claiming some per diems while his permanent staff member is on maternity. He says he'll reimburse. He then tells Tkachuk that he would happy to come before internal economic committee, or meet with Deloitte auditors. PMO is angry about that; 'do you see Duffy is asking to meet with Senate audit committee of the auditors themselves. Do you know why he wants to escalate?' Nigel never heard of this. Writes 'is bad' to Chris Woodcock. PMO is worried about exposing their phoney scenario, Duffy says, because Duffy wants to meet with auditors to clear his name about residency. But Duffy doesn't know at this point that they're actively trying to keep him way from Deloitte.
    Duffy receives an email on April 24, 2014 from Tkachuk; he confronts Duffy about his desire to meet with Deloitte; Tkachuk says meeting with Deloitte will delay the reporting process, says it is coming to an end. Tkachuk said you didn't provide information they had been asking for earlier from his lawyer, office. Duffy didn't know Tkachuk was working with the PMO. 'Unmitigated gall and hypocrisy,' Duffy says of the email, especially after Tkachuk had been the one telling him all along not to cooperate, they would get all they needed from senate finance.
    You have said that your task was to do what? Bayne asks 'To shut up and stay out of the media and don't say anything more in caucus about the truth of what was going on.' Marjorie LeBreton writes go Nigel on March 21, tells him that Duffy is 'whining' asking about the Deloitte audit. (Email 379), Duffy was asking her about sitting as an independent, that he had heard rumours. Nigel says 'as long as we stay together on this we can minimize the damage already caused.'

    Duffy Diary Feb 7, 2013 - Duffy meets his lawyer at the airport, then Tkachuk about Senate audit. Then has a teleconference with Ray Novak and drafts statement for media.

    Duffy diary Feb 11 - 12:15pm - MD meets Nigel Wright @ PMO re: Senate expenses, then at 4:30PM has conservations etc. Janice Payne & Nigel Wright

    Duffy diary Feb 13 - 11:30AM - MD PMSH & Nigel Wright immediately after caucus on expense issue, then 1:30 MD talks settlement terms with John Wallace, Marj, David Tkachuk, Carolyn Stewart Olsen. 4pm - Place call to Brian Mulroney

    Duffy Diary Feb 19, 2013: busy with phone calls. 5:45PM - Telcons - Nigel Wright, Janice Payne, John Wallace, Lynette Corbitt, Kory Tenycke etc on poss settlement

    So Duffy makes the statement on CBC television on Feb. 22; a month later Nigel is asking Duffy's lawyer to finish out the scenario, and finalize payment. Who does it look to the public made the payment? It's been set up in a way to make it look like the payment came from me. On March 26, Payne writes to Tkachuk telling him Duffy will send a personal cheque of $90,000 will be sent to Receiver General to cover the expenses. Did you set this up? Not at all. Were you told what to say? Woodcock asked about Duffy's banking situation, if he had a mortgage. Duffy told him that he was finalizing his line of credit with the bank, which if he was using to renovate 10 Friendly Lane. Woodcock wanted Duffy to tell the media that he got the money from the Royal Bank. Pam was smeared, too, by them, too. they gave the impression she was charging senate to fly to her condo in NYC. Just not true.
    Duffy didn't know the money came from Nigel wright; he assumed it came from the party. 'Why would someone (Nigel Wright) write a cheque for $90,000 for somebody you knew didn't owe the money? It's crazy.' Duffy says.

    Duffy Diary Feb 20, 2013: Duffy working on package for PMO, calls from Tkachuk, Angela urging me to repay the money. 9:00pm Nigel Wright calls re MD pays back expenses before Deloitte audit - "implied threat that steering committee of Internal Economy plans to issue a ruling that I am not eligible to be a PEI Senator!"

    Duffy Diary Feb 21, 2013: 9:16am Vern White calls - pay the money!, 2pm Stephen Lecce & Chris Woodcok on media lines

    Duffy Diary Feb 22, 2013: This is the day where Duffy did local PEI interviews saying that he was voluntarily paying back the money. Link to the CBC interview here: www.cbc.ca

    What were you told after the actual payment and the logistics? Stay out of the news, and don't get scrummed. Duffy avoided them. Woodcock scripted lines for Duffy. 'Tell them you're a man of your word.' It's what you call a holding line, Duffy says. They're telling him all this on April 18. Marjorie LeBreton tells Duffy to keep repeating the line 'I'm a man of my word,' and that Duffy was to say that he was waiting the report of the outside auditor (Deloitte). They told him 'trust us. Don't talk to the media.' That worked out well for you did it? Bayne asks. 'Sure,' Duffy says with sarcasm.

    Duffy Diary Feb 25, 2013: PMSH does not attend Monday QP - Thomas Mulcair leaders off QP with 2 questions on MD & Pam Wallin - Peter VanLoan speaks for govt. 3PM - MD Telcon / Chris Woodcook PMO Issues Management - feeling is worst has passed

    As of April 20, Duffy is *still* trying to meet with Deloitte; Timm writes to Jill Anne Joseph saying that they would still like to meet with Duffy to discuss residency issues. Were you aware that both Deloitte and internal auditor wanted this meeting to happen? No, Duffy says. He didn't know that the PMO defeated it, until the documents were made public during the trial. He reached out to Goldy Hyder, he's a senior lobbyist in Ottawa, he's a Conservative, who used to be on Duffy's show. Duffy called him up to ask Hyder to help him deal with all the various media landmines that were popping. Hyder then turns around and betrays Duffy, sends an email to Nigel Wright.

    Duffy Diary Feb 27, 2013 - 11:19AM MD received letter from BOIE - $81,322.54 + 8839.70 interest = $90.172.24

    Hyder drafted a statement to help him deal with media; something more than 'I'm a man of my word,' that PMO gave him. Nigel had his hands all over it, even had some of the same lines 'it was the right thing to do.' Duffy thought Hyder had written it, but Chris Woodcock was sending him lines. (In fact, Bayne shows us the February press release versus May press releases there are lines that are virtually verbatim)

    More from Duffy Diary Feb 26: 9PM - Nigel Wright on delay in deal. PMSH can't understand why I get a housing allowance when I already had a house in Ottawa.

    PMO is also drafting lines for Conservative senators after Deloitte audit was released; 'Duffy did the right thing by repaying his expenses,' the senators say. (Sticking to the line that Duffy repaid himself, not Nigel).
    Taking our break. Back in 15.
    (Those are some of the most interesting entries from the new Duffy diaries tabled in court today, spanning Jan and Feb 2013.)
    Bayne says there are emails to the internal economy to alter the Deloitte audit on you. Duffy says he was totally surprised. In the time between the CBC interview and May, what message were you getting? Stay away from the media. Marjorie writes to Nigel on May 9 that Duffy complicated her day by showing up at internal economy committee meeting. Duffy says he was invited to appear, he was to be discussed.
    Duffy says the PMO and senate leadership were telling me to stay away from the chamber, telling me not to do my duty on that day. On Tuesday May 14, emails about CTV breaking the story. Andrew MacDougall writes to Nigel and Carl Vallee; Fife asking if Nigel co-signed a loan for Duffy. Nigel says he didn't co-sign a loan. Duffy says he never saw Nigel's cheque until the trial; he just knew that money appeared his lawyer's account. He assumed it was coming from Conservative Party fund. Woodcock tells Duffy to tell media that he personally repaid. Is it true that you repaid? No. Duffy receives a call on May 19, it was the PMO switch board. Ray Novak got on with Marjorie LeBreton he told him that he had 45 minutes to resign or be kicked out of caucus; 'this thing is out of control and you're out of the Conservative caucus.' All that had happened in May was that it wax revealed that Nigel cut the cheque. Why were you kicked out? 'They had to have a scapegoat and it couldn't be the prime minister.'
    Duffy's health declined; after being kicked out of the Conservative caucus in May, he was told by his doctor to stay on bed rest. He said he can't. Duffy said the summer went by. He was coming back for parliamentary session in the fall. A journalist called Duffy, and they said what's your reaction to suspend you, Pam and Patrick from the senate? What plan? Duffy said. 'Oh Carignan has this plan,' Duffy was told. He said he couldn't get a straight answer, all the bureaucrats were afraid of the leadership. Carignan put forward a motion to kick them out 'despite Senate rules and charter of rights,' Duffy was kicked out with out due process. That was Oct., he had his surgery in December.
    Andrew MacDougall, d.comm to Harper, that Nigel cut the cheque only because Duffy couldn't come up with the funds to repay 'in a timely manner.' Who told you to lie? All the people in senior leadership positions, my superiors, they included Nigel Wright. He described his role as representing government of Canada? Yes. Tkachuk, chair of the internal economy committee, CSO, member of steering committee, Marjorie LeBreton, leader in senate. 'It's the right thing to do,' they all told me this. You didn't want to do this? No. You capitulated on Feb. 22, what did you believe was the right thing to do. It was going to damage my reputation but it was all lawful. I worked so hard to build my reputation. Even though I thought it would kill my reputation with Canadians, it was still lawful. They said it was the right thing to do, so I thought it was lawful. I've never done anything unlawful on expenses, on anything,' Duffy says. 'An ethical lawyer could not urge you do anything illegal.' The last thing i thought was that there could be anything illegal about it.
    Bayne asks, besides repeatedly being reassured what you were doing as the right thing to do, did you have any corrupt intention? None whatsoever. 'This was a political stunt. It was all about the Prime Minister. Noting to do with my official capacity as a senator.' Was this for you that this was being done. 'Anything I did was for the prime minister's benefit. Stephen Harper's political benefit.'
    Bayne asks did you receive numerous emails, phone calls and scripted statements telling you to do this? 'Yes including from the prime minister of Canada. He told me 'Nigel will make the arrangements.' You received PM's consent? 'More than consent I was ordered by the prime minister of Canada to do this.' 'It was all for Stephen Harper's benefit because it was all part of a political play.' Was this a financial benefit for you? No. Did you truly voluntarily accept anything here? No I was coerced to go on with this under the threat of losing my job, I did what they insisted I did, including reading their script, and yet in the fall I was suspended without pay...and put a hold on my pension, even though I haven't been convicted of a crime.' Duffy says this was a media play, to shut down trouble for Harper in QP. 'They concocted this scheme.'
    Bayne has wrapped! He says he has no more questions for Duffy. Back at 10 am tomorrow for cross examination from the Crown
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