Reader DerFred asked
Michael do you have the audio from that glorious 2UE interview with Thomson where you artfully extracted his confession that he authorised the brothel payment because "he didn't know what it was for"? Of course it disappeared from the 2UE site soon after.
No problem mate - Craig Thomson "still defiantly says he was given a union credit card with no restrictions on how to use it"!
Over the next few days I'll show you new evidence that will tell the story of how she did it. My reporting on The AWU Scandal had its start in the reporting I did on The HSU Craig Thomson matter. The two union fraud stories were interwoven for me.
In Part One of The Craig Thomson Enquiry we spoke about the lead-up to this interview with Craig Thomson MP, the member for Dobell. As you'll see later, I was using the same up-front techniques to flush out Gillard as I did with Thomson.
If you believe someone has done something wrong and you can prove it - then say it. Boldly. Demand they answer questions. Hold them to account. Give them every opportunity to clear things up. And if you're right, and if it matters, then never, never give up.
Question one - how did all the details get on the credit card voucher?
I had this copy of the voucher in my hand
So it wasn't Craig. He knew it was wrong, but it wasn't him.
Question Two - as boss of the union, did you take any action when you formed the view that it was someone else?
Craig reveals quite a bit in this question. He says that after his enquiries, another man was identified as having used union money to pay for escort services. Craig says that the other man was forced to pay the money back to the union. In this answer, Thomson discloses his understanding that it is wrong to use union money to pay for escort agency services.
Question Three - did you query the entry on your statement for $2,475? Did you act responsibly with your members' money?
Here's the statement for that month.
Question four - let's get your defamation defence out of the road Craig.
And while you were saying that to me about how you settled the matter, you knew but told no one that the Labor Party had paid your legal fees and Fairfax's costs when you withdrew your law suit.
ALP paid $350,000 for Thomson legal costs
THE NSW Labor Party paid almost $350,000 in legal costs for Craig Thomson before the troubled MP was suspended from the party in May.
More than two-thirds of the amount - $240,000 - was paid to Fairfax Media, the publisher of the Herald, under a settlement reached a year ago when Mr Thomson withdrew defamation action he instituted in 2009.
Another $108,366.87 was to cover Mr Thomson's other legal expenses and some of Labor's own bills related to the case, taking the total the ALP paid to $348,366.87.
The ALP will divulge the figure at its annual state conference next month after internal pressure from the NSW senator John Faulkner, who argued that members had a right to know.
Party officials contend that, had the ALP not footed the bills, Mr Thomson could have gone bankrupt. This would have disqualified him from being an MP, caused a byelection and most likely caused the Gillard government to fall.
An extract of a report from NSW Labor's finance committee, being prepared for the state conference, has been obtained by the Herald.
It concludes: "While significant legal expenses were incurred and covered by Craig Thomson, the cost of legal expenses to NSW Labor to provide ongoing financial assistance to cover Mr Thomson's legal expenses, including NSW Labor's own bills in relation to these matters, totalled $348,366.87 ($240,000 of which was a defamation settlement with Fairfax).''
Thomson had effectively buried that payment from public view by not declaring it in his Members Interest Register until forced to more than a fortnight after the 1 August interview with me.
The issue that will rankle with his supporters in the Labor Party who provided the free money to bail him out is this. The $100,000 development application filed for Thomson's house in Bateau Bay, filed on 27 July, just 5 days before this interview.
Question Five - did you do a good job as the boss of the union, looking after the interests of your members and their money
This bloke is unbelievable.
He will find it hard now to say that he had permission to use the money as he is alleged to have done. In his answers here he says that the use of the money was a matter that required investigation, and that after the investigation a "man" paid money back.
But back to Craig and his relationship with his members and their money.
You don't need too much imagination to ponder some of the jobs that have to be done in hospitals. It's hard work, dirty work and not well paid.
Just think how hard that annual $600 in HSU dues is to earn. Then think how handy it would be at Christmas time. Must be galling to think about where it ended up.
Question six - if you didn't sign that chit, it must have been a forger?Here are the voucher, licence and close ups of the signatures. Craig dismisses the prospect of a forger pretty easily.
Question Seven - Did you authorise payment of the credit card bill for Sydney Outcalls P/L (Keywed Pty Ltd)? Why did you approve it? When did you find out what it was?
I think the tremelo in the last answer speaks volumes.
Question Eight - mobile phone records, and Craig says that the people of Dobell are the best judges
Here's his phone record, I've purposely covered the phone numbers he's called so as not to disclose who Craig's mobile was connecting with at that time. Craig keeps interesting company, or at least "the other guy who did it" does.
Question Nine - on Thomson's claim that legal restrictions stop him from answering questions to defend himself - and what's that about it being authorised union expenditure?
Pretty hard to argue against your own position when there are transcripts.
I'LL BE BACK WITH MORE SOON. THIS INTERVIEW TOOK PLACE ON 1 AUGUST, 2011. THE GILLARD AWU BROADCAST IS A FEW WEEKS IN THE FUTURE FROM HERE. I CAN NOW BRING TO LIGHT NEW INFORATION ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN BETWEEN.