of Steve Wilson
you know, John, more than 70 depositions were conducted in the pre-trial process
I personally conducted many of them and was in attendance for every
one. My own deposition
was taken at least twice, as was Jane’s. The point is the fact the
deposition at issue was nearly
four years ago, it is not unusual that my memory of every precise detail could
have been a little hazy
when I attempted to provide you responses before I had a chance to review the
me respond to each of your questions:
Do you still maintain that this was an off-handed remark without a basis in
the deposition which you asked me about is four years old. I first gave
you my recollection
of an event that I haven’t committed to lifelong memory.
The fact I didn’t recall whether it was McDaniels
or Anderson asking the
question is proof of that.
even in my initial response to you—the one that began “it’s been a long
time but as I recall…
”—not even in that response did I ever maintain the remark about
putting money under my mattress was
“without a basis in reality.” What I said to you earlier was:
of exasperation, I suggested maybe I stuffed it under my mattress. Words
on a transcript page may
be interpreted by you now to suggest something that no one in the room at the
time would have concluded
was a serious response.”
didn’t mean to imply by that—and I don’t think any fair-minded person
would conclude—that I maintained
then nor do I maintain now that there was
“no basis in reality” to the fact that I once took money out a bank
it in an unconventional place. I have always and consistently admitted
it...and it is certainly no evidenc
of any misappropriation of funds. To
the contrary, it was an effort to safeguard those funds.
“If it is an off-handed remark without your intent to be serious, did you
tell the truth in this sworn deposition? Mr. McDaniels clearly takes your
testimony seriously. How does this square with the earlier statement that
you provided me?
I freely and honestly admitted withdrawing the money and the response that I put
it under a mattress
was indeed meant to be a flip response, regardless of how
you read it. I note on Page 17, beginning on Line 4
that I freely admitted
“The check that came out that day is a cashier’s check. It remains
under the mattress at my house.
I think that’s where it is. We may
have stuck it somewhere else.”
relevant point here is that I testified truthfully and honestly that I withdrew
money and kept it outside the bank.
What I told you squares well with my
“What happened to the $5,000, and do you have documentation? If you have
documentation, will you provide it?”
happened to the money and why" was thoroughly covered in the deposition.
See Page 17, Lines 3 through 24.
The testimony shows that I swore under
oath the money was never spent but was withdrawn in the form of a cashier’s
check and was held in that form until that very check was endorsed and
re-deposited less than six months later on
November 8, 1999 back into the same
account from which it came.
records were provided prior to the deposition and should be attached to that
document. If your Fox friends
did not provide you with a complete copy of
the document, I’m sure they would send it along if you ask. My copies
those records, if I still have them, are in storage 1,000 miles from where I am
Do you have documentation that the lawn care expenditure was returned to the
Citizens Fund? Will you provide it?
those bank records were produced to the defendants, verified and discussed under
oath, and should be
available to you from the defendant who provided you with
what you have. I have already sworn to this under oath.
prepared to suggest I perjured myself over $30?
Do you contend that hiding money that might properly belong to the IRS is
ethical and legal?
is no factual basis to support your conclusion that Jane or I ever hid money
that might properly belong to
the IRS. Again, I urge you to read the
transcript. See Page 15, starting at Line 15.
oath, I explained my concern that the defendants, through interrogatories and
depositions, had expressed
a great deal of interest in my tax-paying practices
over the last few years. Frankly, given the fact private investigators
were caught going through my garbage and I could only conclude they were hired
directly or indirectly by the
defendants, I did not believe the defendants were
above using what they learned to cause me problems with the IRS.
the time, we had not yet filed certain tax returns. After admitting that
honestly in response to a question
from the defendants’ counsel, we were
advised that if that fact was brought to the attention of the IRS, the
could move to freeze our personal accounts until a return was received.
That would have made it
difficult not only to pay our bills but also to finance
the ongoing and expensive litigation—a primary benefit to
the defendant which
made us suspect they might well take such action.
though we expected not to owe any additional taxes and were working to file the
returns, we considered
it prudent to withdraw money and hold it outside a bank
to alleviate any possibility those funds could potentially
be frozen. The
return was ultimately completed and filed and within six months, the uncashed
check was returned
to the bank and funds re-deposited.
these circumstances, we believed then and believe now there was nothing
unethical, much less illegal, about
holding our money in any manner we see fit.
the bottom line: we promised to use the money on direct expenses related to the
lawsuit. I think I told you
we have taken great pains to keep that
promise. As I have previously admitted, some of the money was briefly
withdrawn and held to safeguard it, and a computer error resulted in
misallocation was discovered and rectified.
Indeed we have kept our
promise to donors and contributed funds have ultimately been used for exactly
for which they were accepted.