Dunn Gets Sloppy


It was the obvious question, and Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, just asked it. All along HP ex-chair Patricia Dunn has maintained that she didn’t know investigators were impersonating directors and reporters — also known as pretexting — to obtain records of their telephone calls.


So, Walden asked, “how’d you think they were getting these phone records?”


“My understanding was that these records were publicly available,” Dunn replied during her Congressional testimony (view Webcast), that “you could call up and get these records, and it was a common investigative technique.”


Walden paused a beat. “You really believed that?” he asked, drawing a smattering of laughter. “I’m sorry, but you believe I could call up whoever is your carrier and [ask for your records]?  Your home, your office, your cell?”


“I was not surprised,” Dunn replied.


“You’re serious?” More laughter seemed to annoy Walden a bit. “I’m not being funny here.  You really believed it’s that simple? That anyone in the world can call up and get them?”


Dunn said she believed it would be done by “permitted methods.”  What, Walden asked, you just go type it into the Internet?


“That would be one method,” Dunn allowed.


Soon enough, there emerged one possible answer to another vexing mystery in this whole scandal. Just where, exactly, do Larry Sonsini’s loyalties lie? 


To press his point with Dunn, Walden turned to notes produced in August by Wilson Sonsini lawyers as part of the Sonsini-led investigation of the techniques used in the boardroom leak probe. The notes indicate, Walden pointed out, that in an interview with Wilson lawyers, Dunn said she believed the records were available because of the phone company’s “administrative sloppiness.”


And just what, Walden asked Dunn, could she have meant by that?


Dunn repeated that it was her understanding the records were publicly available to investigators. Pressed to what she may have meant by  “sloppiness,” she said she didn’t think she’d used those words.


Was there a transcript, Walden asked? No, replied Sonsini, after checking with his “team.” But, Walden asked, you believe these notes are accurate?


“Yes,” replied Sonsini.


— Greg Mitchell


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