Friday, May 29, 2015
Michael Harris: The Three Ways Nigel Wright Could Hurt Stephen Harper
As you know the trial of Mike Duffy resumes on Monday, and as you imagine Stephen Harper must be shaking like a leaf, or a coward in a closet.
Or tossing and turning in his bed at night, wondering when Nigel Wright might be called to the stand.
And asked to explain, among other things, what exactly Boss Harper meant when he told his faithful henchman that the plan to bury a scandal was "good to go."
Because as Michael Harris writes, while the trial may be farcical.
The trial (or is it ‘smile’?) of the century is about to resume. Before it’s done, Mike Duffy’s day in court could resemble an extended Rick Mercer skit. In the end, the former happy Buddha of the news biz could wind up convicted of … being a senator. (Unless, of course, the Royal Conservative Mounted Police learn that Duffy converted to Islam just before he took all that money.)
There are at least three ways Wright could damage Harper beyond recognition.
If Wright confirms that the PM knew more about the Duffy deal than he told Parliament, nobody will be able to put Humpty Dumpty together again. Nobody likes a liar — especially one who claims to be running the country in the interests of family values. (The Mafia used to say the same thing.)
By confirming what most people in Canada strongly suspect: That when Harper the control freak claimed he didn't know NOTHING about what was going on in his own office, he was lying like a thief.
Just like he almost certainly lied about the circumstances surrounding Wright's sudden departure...
If Wright should state under oath that he resigned his post, the PM will have to explain why he publicly insisted that he had been fired. Spot the liar.
You know, the lie that is reported to have made Wright and his lawyers REALLY angry. For as you can imagine, after having done the honourable thing and resigned, Ol' Nige wasn't too happy to hear Boss Harper claim a few days later that he had sacked him like a servant.
To make it look like he just can't STAND the sight of corruption...
And then of course there's the sordid question of that cash-for-silence cheque that Wright wrote for Duffy to keep him in his words from going "squirrelly."
Finally, there’s the sticky matter of the money. The PM says he didn’t know a thing about the $90,000 gift paid to Duffy by Wright. He says Wright deceived him and everybody else. But the “good to go from the PM” email written by Wright after their February 22, 2013 meeting refers to the earlier cash-for-remorse-and-no-audit deal — when the amount Duffy owed was smaller, and CPC bagman Senator Irving Gerstein was going to pony up the party funds.
The one that must be making Stephen Harper go a little squirrelly himself...
Because he must know that unlike himself, Wright isn't known as a compulsive liar. So he may not cover-up for him.
People who know Wright say he will not. For one thing, he’s a lawyer who understands the oath and, at the best of times, uses language like a man defusing a bomb. This is the worst of times, so Nigel will be checking his zipper twice before leaving the loo. For another, he’s a businessman who could be ruined by taking one for the team, because the truth might seep out elsewhere.
And of course the best news is that whatever happens at the trial, it can only remind Canadians of the Harper regimes's long and sordid record of corruption.
At a time when he's trying to portray himself in his latest ad as Big Daddy, the honest leader of the nation....
And NOT as this new Liberal version of that ad suggests, as Boss Harper, the grubby leader of the Con mob...
But yes, no wonder he's cowering in his closet, or tossing and turning in his bed.
He must hear the heavy foot steps coming.
And it must be quite a nightmare...
Yup. Get your popcorn now folks.
It's scandal time in Con Canada.
Chicken Harper is on the run. Again.
And about to lose his feathers...
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