The Tale of the Tape Returns: Excerpts from the first ever deposition of a sitting Prime Minister

The full transcript is available here.

I’m still going through it, so I’ll likely be posting bits that tweak my interest throughout the day, like this excerpt from relatively early on in the deposition, in which the Prime Minister’s memory of at least one detail from that fateful day when he was interviewed by Tom Zytaruk outside Dona Cadman’s house appears to contradict that of his press secretary, Carolyn Stewart Olson. 

From the deposition transcript:

222. Q. Right, but in terms of your conversation with Tom Zytaruk, there was no opportunity to deal with that

in your memory bank between September the 9th and —

A. Well, as I say, there would have been the debrief on interviews, we did that with Carolyn later in the day. Debriefed it with Doug Finley a couple of days later. And then would have put my mind to it when I met Dona Cadman again. Those would have been the occasions.

After that, once Dona never raised it with me again, and, you know, there were no articles on the matter, I presumed that this was a closed subject.

223. Q. Sure. And when you debriefed to Carolyn, that’s Carolyn Stewart Olsen?

A. Yes.

224. Q. And when was that in relation to the meeting of September the 9th?

A. Oh, it would have been that day. I can’t say exactly when because I know we were a bit late for a meeting, a public meeting. We were leaving and I know she was not with me in the car, but we would have debriefed, you know, probably after that subsequent public meeting.

What Carolyn Stewart Olson stated in her sworn affidavit of June 2, 2008:

Mr. Zytaruk’s interview commenced by me introducing Mr. Harper to Mr. Zytaruk and they exchanged pleasantries. I was present beside Mr. Harper during the entire interview which lasted about 5-10 minutes. When the interview was finished, Mr. Harper and I walked to our vehicle, got in and drove to our next scheduled event. Mr. Harper never walked to our vehicle and then walked back to where Mr. Zytaruk was standing to add further comments.

A minor detail? Sure. But it does suggest that those present at the Cadman residence that day may have differing – and even contradictory – recollections of exactly what went on between the then-Opposition Leader and Tom Zytaruk.

UPDATE: This post may come in handy when attempting to reconcile the PM’s testimony with previous statements made by Olson and others.

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