Friday, August 14, 2015
The Day Duffy's Lawyer Went After Stephen Harper
Ever since the trial of Mike Duffy began, his lawyer Donald Bayne has been circling over Stephen Harper, like a hawk over a rabbit.
But today all that changed.
When Bayne swooped out of the sky, and went in for the kill.
First he went after Harper's former chief of staff Nigel Wright.
Mike Duffy's lawyer ripped into Nigel Wright in court on Friday, accusing the prime minister's former chief of staff of planning to deceive Canadians with a scheme to secretly use a Conservative Party fund to pay off inappropriate living expenses claimed by the senator.
"You go secretly to the chair of the Conservative fund," Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne said. "You use public funds and taxpayer donor funds secretly to arrange to have the fund pay it without telling Canadians. And you think that was principled and ethical to do?"
And then he went after Harper himself in the most devastating way possible.
At the end of the most politically charged week of Mike Duffy’s trial over the administrative and political saga of his Senate expenses, defence lawyer Donald Bayne went out of his way to establish that the damage-control operation led by the Prime Minister’s Office to defuse the scandal was conducted with the knowledge of Stephen Harper himself.
By targeting Harper's beloved boy wonder Ray Novak...
Cross-examining former Harper chief of staff Nigel Wright for the third day running over his role in the crisis management effort, Bayne suggested Friday that Ray Novak, then Harper’s principal secretary and later Wright’s successor, acted as a surrogate for Harper during secret negotiations about stage-managing Duffy’s repayment of his disallowed expenses.
“Ray Novak was a stand-in for the prime minister, wasn’t he?” asked Bayne.
And the reason it's so devastating is because Novak is so close to Harper.
“Ray is effectively the Prime Minister’s closest confidant,” enthuses one government official. “Not only as a member of his staff, but as a personal and intimate member of the Prime Minister’s life.”
“Ray was with him more than anybody else for years and years and years,” says Brodie, who served as Harper’s chief of staff for three years. “They were literally hardly ever apart.”
That if he knew about Wright's plan to cover-up a scandal, as we now know he did, you can be sure that so did Great Leader.
No matter what he says.
Despite Novak’s involvement in several email chains about how to fix the Duffy mess, Harper, speaking Friday at a campaign stop at Hay River, N.W.T., didn’t directly address the matter of Novak’s prior knowledge of Wright’s repayment.
Referring to Novak as a “subordinate” — because in the early spring of 2013 Novak was below Wright in the PMO hierarchy — Harper said, “You hold people responsible for their own actions; you certainly don’t hold subordinates responsible for the actions of their superiors.”
And since Novak is the one person Harper will not throw under the wheels of his bus.
Or his batmobile...
With a little bit of luck they'll both go off the cliff together.
The Duffy scandal has finally penetrated the inner circle of the Con regime.
And it will help destroy them...
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