5 key quotations from Sen. Mike Duffy's testimony on Tuesday
Josh Dehaas, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, December 15, 2015 10:05AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 15, 2015 5:26PM EST
Sen. Mike Duffy spent most of his final day under examination by his defence lawyer detailing the circumstances in February 2013 that led up to the former prime minister’s Chief of Staff Nigel Wright paying $90,000 of Duffy’s questionable Senate expenses on his behalf.
Duffy faces 31 charges, including one count of bribery related to the payment. He has pleaded not guilty to all.
The former Conservative senator insisted that he never broke residency or expenditure rules, but was pressured into repaying the expenses to help out the prime minister, who was taking a beating from then Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair in question period.
Here are five key quotations from Duffy’s Tuesday testimony in an Ottawa courtroom, where CTV Ottawa News Bureau Correspondent Katie Simpson was live-tweeting.
Duffy said the prime minister told him “Nigel will make the arrangements”
The senator described approaching Prime Minister Stephen Harper after a caucus meeting and telling him he was “being lynched.”
Duffy said the prime minister agreed that he didn’t break the rules, but that “the rules are inexplicable to the (Conservative) base.”
Duffy also said Harper told him, “Nigel (Wright) will make the arrangements.”
The former prime minister has maintained he didn’t know Wright had written the cheque until the story broke in the media, which was first reported by CTV News in May 2013.
Duffy said he was “ordered to do this by the Prime Minister of Canada”
Duffy said he never intended to do anything wrong by going along with the plan to repay the expenses.
He said he never benefited from the money, and that it was all “a political stunt.”
Duffy said the pressure on him was great, and that he had even received verbal instructions from Harper that he must go ahead with it. "I was ordered to do this by the prime minister of Canada."
Duffy said he felt like a North Korean POW
The senator said he was getting so much pressure from the prime minister’s top staffers to go on television and “repeat lines" that he felt like he was "in a North Korean prison camp."
Duffy said he was “begging” top aide Ray Novak not force him to say he would repay.
“When you repay there's a presumption I owed money,” he said. “Why would I want to put a stain on my reputation, my kids, wife grandkids? I'm not a cheat, I'm not a thief, I don't break the rules.”
Duffy said Jim Flaherty called PMO staffers “F’ing unbelievable”
Duffy described an “icy meeting” where Wright told him the repayment was “not a discussion.”
Right after leaving the meeting, Duffy said he ran into Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and told him they had “decreed” that he was to pay it back.
“He just looks at me and says ‘Mike, these people are F’ing unbelievable’.”
Duffy said he was coached to lie about where he got the $90,000
The senator said that he had “one last card to play,” while trying to convince Nigel Wright he shouldn’t pay back the money, which was telling Wright he didn't have the cash to do so. But Wright told him not to worry about it.
Duffy also said he told the prime minister’s issues management chief Chris Woodcock that he was taking out a Royal Bank line of credit for home renovations, which Woodcock called “perfect” considering the questions the media would ask.
Duffy said Woodcock suggested he say “Royal Bank” when asked where he got the money.
Woodcock testified in August that he did not know Wright had written a personal cheque, and that he missed a line in a March 8, 2013 email from Wright that read: “For you only: I am personally covering Duffy's $90K.”
CTV reporter Katie Simpson was live-blogging from the court earlier today. Read her updates below:
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