In the case of Meyers v. United States (84
U.S.App.DC. 101, 171 F.2d 800 (1948)), Meyers was being prosecuted for
subordination of perjury in front of a Senate subcommittee. A key issue was
the testimony of a guy named Lamarre. At the perjury trial, even though the
stenographic record of Lamarre's testimony was available, the Trial Judge
allowed the prosecution to have a witness recount the substance of Lamarre's
Meyers objected, but the Appellate Court affirmed, saying
that the recounting was not a violation of the best evidence rule
because it wasn't the contents of the transcript that were at issue, it
was Lamarre's oral testimony. The stenographic record would be good
evidence of what was said, but it wasn't the only possible admissible
evidence of his testimony.
Statements that are alleged to be perjurious may be
proved by any person who heard them, as well by the court record.
In a dissent it was argued that the best evidence rule
should be read more generally, and to require that a party having
available evidence which is relatively certain may not submit evidence
that is far less certain.
Basically, the dissent felt that if there was better
evidence, then the party should be required to present it, regardless of
the technical reason for offering the evidence.
If Meyers felt that the testimony was inaccurate, he could
have introduced the stenographic record himself. Then the jury would have
to determine how much weight to give the testimony vs. the transcript.