That ups the ante for Stephen Harper, increasing the chances that the trial might happen before the general elections scheduled for October, 2015. The evidence will expose the dirty dealing of Harper's Prime Minister's Office and his top officials as well as the corruption of the Conservative leadership in the Senate. The greatest risk for Harper is the prospect of being directly tied to the Duffy deal, something the prime minister has struggled to deny.
I think Harper would have an extremely tough time if compelled to take the stand and give evidence under oath. Duffy's account of the $90,000 "gift" from Nigel Wright is remarkably solid. By contrast, Harper has played fast and loose with the facts as is his way.
Harper has a habit of taking forceful, cut and dried positions on situations that turn into scandals. As facts emerge Harper has to fall back and make contradictory and inconsistent statements. He invents new lies when his initial lies collapse.
A perfect example is Harper's handling of the Bruce Carson/PMO debacle when people began asking how a controversial character with multiple fraud convictions who had done prison time managed to get into a sensitive position inside the Prime Minister's Office.
At first, Harper claimed he'd been blindsided. He knew nothing about Carson's shady past. Harper blamed it on the failure of his staff to properly vet the guy before he was hired. Harper said if he'd known anything about Carson's past he'd have booted him straight out of the PMO.
Then it came out that somebody had waived the otherwise mandatory RCMP security check. Who might have the power to do that? Remember, at that time, the commissioner was a veteran Conservative backroom operator and career civil servant, Bill Elliott.
As attention was drawn to senior PMO and Privy Council staffers and the top brass in the RCMP, Harper changed his tune. He implicitly admitted he'd been lying. Now, he said, he had known about Carson's criminal past - but only part of it - and yet he wanted to give the guy a second chance to rehabilitate himself. Call it Christian charity.
When the scandal broke Harper claimed to have been duped, let down by his staff, blindsided. He denied knowing anything about Carson's past.
When the scandal closed in, Harper suddenly said he had known about Carson's past but wanted to do the guy a favour. And, with that admission, Harper also admitted he'd been straight out lying all along.
There's been enough of this sort of thing that Harper would have trouble defending his credibility under cross-examination by someone like Mr. Bayne.
It remains to be seen whether Bayne can persuade a judge that Harper's evidence is essential to the conduct of the trial. A chronic liar like our prime minister won't submit without a fight.