Stephen Harper's PMO is one of the most sinister organizations in Canada, and one of the most secretive.
No decent Canadian has ever been able to penetrate its murky darkness, or know exactly how it works. Or how its monstrous master controls his faithful fanatics.
But now all that is about to change, and for Harper and those fanatics it must be a real nightmare.
Because as Michael Harris writes, the Mike Duffy trial is about to blow their secret world wide open.
For the first time since this circus began back in 2013, PMO staffers will not have the option of offering ‘scenarios’ — the lovely euphemism to describe the oft-fictitious claims of their boss. They will take the stand under oath. This time around it’s truth or consequences – the consequences being perjury.
The practitioners of the Big Lie are going to have to tell the truth, for once. And it could be a real
For the collection of PMO staffers who offer evidence against Duffy, it will be a new experience to deal with a grand inquisitor like Donald Bayne. Bayne, the accused’s lawyer, is not a member of the press who can be put off with a load of pre-fabricated flapdoodle from the Langevin Block. He is a detail man who is relentless, and who knows the criminal law and how to get answers to his questions.
More importantly, he has a wagonload of emails between his client and the PMO, as well as other evidence, to direct that razor-sharp mind of his. Bayne is someone who demands your “A” game. People like Benjamin Perrin, the PM’s former legal advisor, and Ray Novak, his current chief of staff, had better bring theirs.
Since it seems clear that Ol' Duff got exactly the lawyer he wanted...
And it will be fascinating to hear what Ray Novak, Harper's Robin, has to say about his Batty Man...
Especially since he knows him so well, and is always fixing little problems for him, as well fetching him stuff like coffee and donuts.
But of course, as Harris points out, the key witness will be Nigel Wright.
The most critical witness from the PMO of the day will be Nigel Wright, the PM’s former chief-of-staff. Wright is a titan compared to the many political hacks who will testify against Duffy. He is also a gifted negotiator and a lawyer.
And Wright is something else that Stephen Harper probably doesn’t understand. Though deeply loyal to the Conservative party, he will not lie for the Prime Minister. According to the people who know him best, Wright is a deeply religious man who will answer truthfully any question put to him under oath.
Who apparently won't lie to his god, or the judge, about what Harper meant when he said the Duffy payoff was "good to go."
And is apparently VERY upset that after Great Leader said his loyal servant had resigned, he later claimed he had fired him...
Initially, the prime minister said that Wright continued to enjoy his “full confidence” after the $90,000 gift from his chief of staff to Duffy became public. There would be no resignation. A few days after that, Harper “reluctantly” accepted Wright’s decision to go.
A few weeks later, Harper claimed that Wright had been “dismissed” for concluding a deal that the PM would never have approved had he known about it, and which was concealed from him.
And apparently his lawyers are also very upset:
When the PM came up with the firing story on that radio show, Wright’s lawyers responded with a chilling comment. They had nothing to say “at this time” about the prime minister’s latest version of events.
So it remains to be seen who Ol' Nige hurts more, Ol' Duff or his Ol' Boss.
And since others in the PMO gang may be forced to tell the truth whether they like it or not...
It could get UGLY.
And whatever happens, the PMO will be exposed, the curtain will be pulled away at last, the Cons will look less like a government and more like a criminal conspiracy.
And Harper could end up looking like Richard Nixon...
And hopefully suffer the same fate.
Raised up by war.
And brought down by scandal...
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