Monday, Aug 11 (emphasis brick-wrappingly added):
In the face of Tory challenges to provide evidence of the allegation, Liberal committee chair Paul Szabo quoted from a committee clerk's report to him describing witness responses.
"He (a potential witness) informed me that the party has told them to decline," Szabo said, quoting directly from the report at the table with the clerk sitting beside him.
New Democrat MP Pat Martin said such instructions would be tantamount to obstruction of justice if it was a court hearing.
But a Conservative assistant at the committee denied the party instructed potential witnesses to stay away.
"It did not, absolutely not," said Yaroslav Baran, chief of staff to government whip Jay Hill.
Wednesday, Aug 13:
Party organizer advised witnesses to ignore summonses: Tory agent
The official agent for a Conservative candidate in Toronto told The Canadian Press yesterday that he and other potential witnesses were told by an organizer for the federal party as late as Monday that they didn't have to testify at the inquiry if they didn't want to.
Douglas Lowry said the organizer, whom he named as Carmen McGregor, gave the advice after he and others received summonses from the Commons ethics committee.
"We've all been told," Mr. Lowry said.
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