Defense Minister Linda Reynolds was forced to correct her response to the Senate regarding Brittany Higgins after making an embarrassing mistake.
Defense Minister Linda Reynolds was forced to correct her response to the Senate on April 1, 2019, after falsely claiming to have held two meetings with police on rape charges with plaintiff Brittany Higgins. I did.
In an embarrassing mistake, Senator Reynolds told the Senate that she had never met the Australian Federal Police that day and met AFP only once on April 4, 2019 at the request of AFP.
But even worse news for Defense Minister Scott Morrison seems to have repeated this turmoil as Ms. Higgins told the House of Representatives that she met AFP on April 1st, the same day she met Defense Minister. is. Minister about rape charges.
Senator Reynolds was confused after receiving a series of questions in the Senate on Tuesday.
“I support what I said in the room yesterday, and for very clarity, I met AFP Brittany on April 1st, and then the Chief of Staff at the time,” she said. ..
“As I said earlier in this meeting room, the process of the meeting revealed that the problem was more serious than the previously advised security breach.
“That same day, I organized Brittany to meet with AFP, something I was advised to happen for follow-up and explanation.
“I met briefly on April 4th at the request of the Australian Federal Police. I started the meeting alone, and I was attended for a short time by the chief of my staff.”
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In response, Tasmanian Senator Helen Polley accused Senator Reynolds in a misleading parliament.
“After misleading the Senate yesterday, the minister had to revise the record and confirm that her chief of staff attended a meeting with the deputy secretary of AFP. The minister said he had only met with the deputy secretary. Why did you misunderstand the Senate? “She asked.
In response, Senate Reynolds said, “There was no misunderstanding.”
“For complete clarity, I would like to reiterate that there is no misunderstanding. I met the Australian Federal Police twice. The first was on April 1st with Brittany and my then Chief of Staff. did.
“And, as I said, then it’s my understanding that Brittany met AFP in the absence of me, not in my presence, and as a follow-up to their request,” she said.
“I briefly met with the Australian Federal Police and Deputy Secretary on April 4. I started the meeting alone, and at the end of the meeting my Chief of Staff joined me.”
However, in her correspondence released Tuesday night at 6 pm, she admitted that she was wrong about the April 1 meeting and wrong about meeting Higgins and AFP.
“I didn’t meet AFP on April 1st,” she writes.
The Prime Minister had previously told the House of Representatives that Ms. Higgins had met with police on April 1.
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Earlier on Tuesday, Senator Reynolds revealed for the first time that Senator Reynolds had talked with Special Minister Alex Hawk about the dismissal of Reynolds when he stumbled in the Senate about how many times he met police. ..
In a new revelation about who knows what when, the senator told the senator that he had discussed the dismissal with the minister in charge of staffing at the time.
However, the defense minister implied that she had discussed the dismissal with the state minister. Brittany Higgins raised the possibility of sexual assault.
Liberal staff fired Due to a “security breach” of taking Mr. Higgins to the office outside business hours.
The Special State Minister at the time of the incident was Alex Hawke, a member of the NSW Legislature who is now the Minister of Immigration.
“My memory is consistent with Senator Reynolds’ comment in the Senate that there was one call regarding access to general advice on the 2019 dismissal process,” Hawk said at news.com. I told au.
“The details and nature of the problem were not discussed.”
There are still doubts about the magnitude of the rapist’s dismissal payments allegedly provided by the Morrison administration and whether anyone involved with the Liberal Party provided the reference.
In Congress, Senator Reynolds was asked: “Did the minister disclose to other ministers that her former employee, Ms. Higgins, claimed to have been raped in the minister’s office? If so, which minister?”
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In response, Senator Reynolds revealed contact with the State Minister for the first time.
“I didn’t advise the Prime Minister because he wasn’t my place,” she said.
“Also, I didn’t always advise Senator Cash because it wasn’t my agency, so I had a discussion with the Special State Minister at the time. As far as I can remember, he was on this issue. It wasn’t about. It was about my second staff. “
Ms. Higgins told news.com.au that she had never met the Defense Minister and AFP. Ms. Reynolds said she would return to the Senate to check her records.
Earlier, Employment Minister Michelia Cash, who hired Ms. Higgins after leaving Senator Reynolds’ office, said she knew of the “incident” but was unaware that it was a suspicion of rape. Told to.
“Well, that’s exactly what the Defense Minister told my Chief of Staff,” she said.
“I just got an inquiry from the media, and then I spoke with the Chief of Staff and Brittany.
“Britany was really worried about media inquiries, she was a media adviser and intended to get people to inquire about her. She was very worried that she would be a story. It was really about her work, nothing more. “
Senator Cash was asked again if he knew it was related to sexual assault, at which point she didn’t know in October 2019.
“I’m definitely not, and I made my position in the Senate very clear,” she said.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham also revealed that the liberal staff who had previously worked for Senator Reynolds did not have a lobbyist pass to return to Congress after he quit his job. ..
“I was advised by the president that no one apparently sponsored or acknowledged the facts you identified because the individual did not have access to such a path,” he said. Told.
“I can’t say that he never entered the building again, but after his dismissal he could say he wasn’t issued a sponsored pass or game-sponsored access to knowledge of the building.”