Lawyers routinely counsel their clients to say as little as possible on the stand. Answer the question asked. Don’t expand. Don’t speculate. Don’t offer additional information.
An attorney himself, Governor Patrick probably did not need those instructions, but he followed them so rigorously that following his testimony today in the Sal DiMasi corruption trial (which prosecutors pre-billed as “compelling”) the most interesting tid-bit from initial reports is:
“I told them if we could do it within the rules, then go ahead,” Patrick said he told his staff about the contract after DiMasi’s repeated queries.
“[I]f we could do it within the rules…” What does that mean? Who knows. What does anything that comes out of Deval Patrick’s mouth mean? He crafts virtually every public utterance for maximum susceptibility to multiple interpretations. Which rules? He didn’t say. Did his staff check into whether the $15 million line item DiMasi was pushing in fact fit “within the rules”? It seems not, but again – who knows.
In the end, what Governor Patrick told the jury today boils down to: ‘Yes, Sal DiMasi lobbied him and his staff for a $15 million item in a bond bill.’ We knew that. ‘Yes, he signed off on the item.’ We knew that. Yawn.
Oh, and there was this: “[Patrick] later said he would have at least asked the State Ethics Commission about the propriety of the deal had he known DiMasi was allegedly receiving money from Cognos.” Really? Had Governor Patrick known DiMasi was being paid off by a state contractor to secure a $15 million contract he would have had to ask “about the propriety of the deal”?? Fascinating.
Much more interesting than today’s decidedly un-compelling testimony was what Governor Patrick had to say around the time, in 2007, when he signed off on the Cognos earmark… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS