Thursday, April 28, 2016
The Duffy Trial and Stephen Harper's Lawyer's Letter
When the judge at the Duffy trial delivered his verdict, and his scathing indictment of the Harper PMO, I couldn't help wondering what Stephen Harper must have been thinking.
And now we all know. He wasn't too happy. He must have been furious.
Or humiliated beyond recognition.
And had instructed his lawyer to write an open letter to Canadians.
So he could make it clear that Great Ethical Leader had acted in an honourable manner.
And had fully cooperated with the police.
From the outset, we were instructed by our client to assist the RCMP in its investigation. This assistance included making available to the RCMP extensive PMO documentation, principally emails, and facilitating the interviews of PMO witnesses requested by the RCMP.
Although this decision was politically inexpedient, it was the right thing to do and was an unequivocal act of integrity and accountability by the prime minister.
Although the lawyer did forget to point out that Boss Harper and his PMO gang had no choice but to cooperate with the RCMP. After Robert Fife exposed the attempted cover-up, and the force began to investigate the scandal.
And when he claims that Great Ethical Leader knew nothing about Nigel Wright's payment to Duffy, and was moved only by the noblest motives,
His assertion was, and is, that the behaviour exhibited by Mr. Duffy was unacceptable. It was and is my client’s view that public office demands a higher standard than conduct that falls short of criminality.
He exceeds the limits of credibility, and couldn't be more ridiculous.
Considering the frantic way the PMO operatives were scrambling about trying to put a lid on the scandal. Which makes it almost impossible to believe that Harper didn't know what was going on.
And considering what Harper's former PMO lawyer Benjamin Perrin had to say about about the morals of the Con regime.
"As a lifelong conservative I never thought that would happen. But after what I've personally seen and experienced, there was no other choice," Ben Perrin, a former legal advisor in the PMO, said in a statement sent to media on the eve of Election Day.
"The current government has lost its moral authority to govern."
Or for that matter, what the one-time Con Brent Rathgeber had to say about the verdict, and the behaviour of the so-called boys in the short pants.
It was a stunning rebuke — and it wasn’t really stunning at all. Micromanaging MPs and senators, sanitizing a Senate audit, interfering with an independent audit and attempting to cover it all up — it all seems like just another day at the office for PMO staffers in the spring of 2013.
And how it felt to be crushed under their bully boots.
The people in the Harper PMO believed that there was no moving part inside the Ottawa bubble beyond their reach and control. And because promotion within both the Senate and Commons caucuses is based in large part on building up capital with the prime minister and his people, these young zealots’ sense of omnipotence tends to become a working reality.
When I was in caucus, I could measure with an egg timer the time it would take for PMO Issues Management to call and demand changes to any blog I posted that was even constructively critical of the government. When logic failed them, they were never beneath threatening an MP — with committee reassignment, with refusing to sign future nomination papers, even with caucus expulsion.
So when Harper is quoted as believing that "public office demands a higher standard than conduct that falls short of criminality," he's right.
But he should look in the mirror. For there was no Canadian government that set a lower standard of conduct than did his filthy, morally depraved regime.
The matter of criminality will not be settled until we have a full public inquiry.
And if Harper was hoping his lawyer's letter will help repair his tattered legacy he can forget about that.
Mike Duffy and him will be forever linked...
Duffy will live under an ethical cloud for the rest of his life, even though he was acquitted.
And Stephen Harper will live in infamy...
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