Mike Duffy trial: Day 58

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

  • 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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