Nigel Wright chose to dismiss the email, in a "the dog ate my homework" way, by saying Harper had merely approved the media lines (why the "n" in lines?), not Wright's under the table, cash for expenses payment.
Let's see. One of these explanations is quite convincing. One of these explanations borders on the absurd and sounds utterly contrived. And the winner is - Benjamin Perrin.
Members of the PMO, including Wright, had come up with a five-point plan in Feb. 2013 that would see Duffy agree to a deal in which he would admit he had made an unintentional mistake and pledge to repay the expenses, at the time thought to be $32,000.
Part of that plan would see Duffy's expenses covered, not by the senator himself, and that he would be removed from an audit looking into his questionable claims.
"My understanding from that email is that the prime minister himself had approved of the five points that had been set out by Mr. Wright," Perrin said.
The trial, which began April 7 in the Ontario Court of Justice, resumed last Wednesday after breaking on June 18, the second hiatus of the high-profile trial. This third phase will continue until Aug. 28, and, with more time assuredly needed, break until it would resume again in mid-November.
So, to recap. Benjamin Perrin's evidence has Harper's principal secretary, Ray Novak, in on a meeting where Nigel and the magical 90-grand were discussed, taking Perrin but apparently not Novak by surprise. Which draws the powerful inference that, as Harper's principal secretary and personal sockpuppet/valet, Novak would have told Harper everything and that "good to go" meant exactly what it sounds like - Harper's approval of the whole business.