In Act Three of The Crucible, Gile Corey interrupts the court proceedings to assert that the court has been "hearing lies" and that Thomas Putnam has been "reaching out for land." Corey's wife has been accused of witchcraft and to save her, he puts forth evidence that the girls "afflicted" by witchcraft have been deceiving everyone: a document with an anonymous statement that accuses Mr. Putnam of prompting his daughter to pretend to be affected by witchcraft. Putnam knew that if those accused of witchcraft were found guilty and executed by hanging, they would be forced to forfeit their property; only Putnam had enough capital to make large land purchases in Salem.
Thus, Corey claims to have the statement of an "honest man" who heard Putnam admit this himself. Corey cannot reveal his source because he knows that this "honest man" would be thrown in jail and accused himself if his name were revealed to the public. Unfortunately, without the verification of this person's identity, the courts refuse to accept his testimony.