Winston Peters' lawyer Brian Henry did nothing yesterday to salvage Mr Peters' credibility or prospects of surviving as a minister when he was forced to alter evidence he had previously given to Parliament's privileges committee.
His appearance yesterday points to the privileges committee tabling a report that could be highly critical of Mr Peters and Mr Henry - which would be grounds for Prime Minister Helen Clark to sack Mr Peters.
At present Mr Peters has stood aside as Foreign Minister while the Serious Fraud Office investigates other issues related to donations to New Zealand First, Mr Peters' party.
Credulity was strained to such an extent yesterday that United Future leader Peter Dunne openly questioned Mr Henry's recall.
Mr Dunne suggested it might be that the safest option was not to recall the contents of the phone call or having sent the email because it "might create some further embarrassment for Mr Peters".
The privileges committee is trying to establish when Mr Peters knew about the donation in order to decide if he should have declared it.
Mr Glenn says that Mr Peters has known about it all along because he personally approached him for a donation in December 2005 to fund his Tauranga electoral petition.
Mr Peters maintains it was Mr Henry who solicited the donation in a phone call late November or early December 2005 and that the first Mr Peters knew about it was on July 18 this year.
Mr Glenn undermined their story last week when he tabled records showing Mr Henry had emailed Mr Glenn his bank details minutes after Mr Glenn had spoken to Mr Peters about 1.30pm on December 14, 2005.
The email said "further to your discussion with my client at 1.30 ... "
Mr Henry had denied that Mr Peters was "my client" on September 7 after Mr Glenn had told the privileges committee in a letter about an email from Mr Henry. At that point, no one knew that Mr Glenn still had the email and the linked phone record.
In the interests of natural justice, Mr Henry was recalled after Mr Glenn's evidence. Yesterday he accepted that the reference to "my client" in the email was, in fact, Mr Peters. He had previously denied it was Mr Peters.
Mr Henry could not recall sending the email, though accepted it was from him. He accepted that the evidence showed that Mr Peters called him [Mr Henry] just after Mr Peters had spoken to Mr Glenn.
But like Mr Peters, he could not remember the call or the conversation - excepting both say money would not have been discussed.
Mr Henry repeatedly told the committee that he knows money would not have been discussed because if it had been, he would have had "a barney" with Mr Peters and he would remember that because he never discussed donors with Mr Peters.
Mr Henry said he got Mr Glenn's contact details from Mr Peters' office on November 22, 2005 but he did not table any records of any phone conversation he had had with Mr Glenn.
Mr Henry believes that what happened was that in the course of Mr Peters' call to him, Mr Peters had mentioned his call with Mr Glenn which would have prompted Mr Henry to send an email to jog his memory of Mr Henry's request for a donation.
"What I believe happened is [Mr Peters] rang me. We had a six-minute discussion and it wasn't on Mr Glenn but in the course of that discussion he mentioned Mr Glenn's name. That jogged my memory and then I sent an email to try and jog Mr Glenn's memory in the hope of getting a donation."
Mr Dunne: "And it is just pure coincidence that the sequence of calls was over that 10-minute period."
Mr Henry: "That's just what happened."
Mr Dunne: "Pure coincidence?"
Mr Henry: "That's just what happened."
Mr Dunne asked Mr Henry, "but what conclusions would you draw as a counsel in a trial if, when confronted with the facts, a witness consistently answered 'I have no recollection.'?"
Mr Henry said he had not consistently answered that he had no recollection. "What I have said to you is I do not have a recollection of these phone calls and this email.
"The one thing I do know is that if Mr Peters had said to me 'Owen Glenn is going to pay your fees, he and I would have an issue. That did not happen.'
WHO SAID WHAT
Dec 14, 2005, 1.26pm - Mr Glenn calls Mr Peters' cellphone. The pair speak for six minutes and 40 seconds;
Dec 14, 1.33pm - Mr Peters calls his lawyer Brian Henry. The pair speak for six minutes;
Dec 14, 1.40pm - Mr Henry emails Mr Glenn. The short email says: "Further to your discussion with my client at 1.30 NZT I provide my bank details."
Dec 20 - Mr Glenn orders the payment to be made;
Dec 22 - The $100,000 payment arrives in Mr Henry's bank account. MR
He received a late November call from a New Zealand First staffer and a December 5 message from Mr Peters asking about a donation;
He called Mr Peters on December 14 and the pair discussed a $100,000 donation to Mr Peters' Tauranga electoral petition, to be paid to his lawyer Brian Henry;
Eight minutes later he received a one sentence email from Mr Henry referring to the phone conversation with "my client" and providing bank details;
Six days later Mr Glenn authorised the payment;
In early 2006 he saw Mr Peters at the Karaka yearling sales and Mr Peters thanked him;
At no point did he ever speak to Mr Henry.
MR PETERS' AND MR HENRY'S VERSION
Mr Henry called Mr Glenn in late November or early December and asked for money after a suggestion from another client;
Mr Peters says he never called Mr Glenn on December 5;
Mr Peters says he talked to Mr Glenn on December 14 but money was not discussed;
Mr Peters immediately called Mr Henry after talking to Mr Glenn but other than mentioning the call they did not discuss Mr Glenn or money, instead talking about Mr Peters' petition. But the pair acknowledge their recollection is poor;
Mr Henry says his only explanation for the email, which he can't remember writing, is that the call jogged his memory of his earlier call to Mr Glenn and as a result he immediately sent off the email with his bank details;
Mr Peters says he could not have thanked Mr Glenn at Karaka, as the pair were not formally seated together.