OTTAWA — Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, returned to the witness box at the Mike Duffy trial on Thursday.
Here are five highlights from his second day of testimony:
1. He denied the PMO created a "deliberately deceptive scenario''
Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, tore into Wright during cross-examination , suggesting he helped create a "deliberately deceptive scenario'' for Canadians when the public was led to believe Duffy repaid his questioned expenses. Wright said he thought Duffy was "much better off'' if people believed he had paid. Wright said he didn't think the repayment scenario would be seen as a "scheme'' and he was concerned about taxpayers.
2. Wright told court he was following the Scriptures:
Wright told court he tried to quietly do a "good deed'' when he gave Duffy $90,000. Wright, a devout Anglican, said he was following the advice of a Bible passage that counsels "righteousness,'' but warns against doing it in front of others.
3. Wright said he decided to give Duffy the money after a Conservative party plan fell through:
The original plan to see the Conservative party fund cover the bill — believed initially to be $32,000 — collapsed when the cost ballooned to $90,000. Wright said he decided to cover the cost "a day or two after'' he discovered the fund would not pay.
4. Wright said he felt the director of issues management in the Prime Minister's Office needed to know where the money came from:
Wright said Chris Woodcock, the PMO's former issues management director, was responsible for a team that would be involved in preparing responses to the media. Wright said he believed Woodcock needed to know where the $90,000 came from.
5. Wright denied meddling in an external audit on Duffy's expenses:
Wright testified he did not approach Deloitte, the firm that audited three senators, including Duffy. He said it would have been highly improper to interfere. A Tory-dominated, closed-door Senate committee removed a specific reference to Duffy before the audit findings were released publicly.
Read the new trove of evidence released on Day Two:
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