Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Is Stephen Harper Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place?

Well he wasn't in the House of Commons today to answer any questions about the Senate scandal.

No doubt recovering from his latest attempt to try to improve his image by posing as a man of the people. Which can't be easy when you're a millionaire. 

And you have to go to a football game to try to make yourself look popular.   

But of course, it's not hard to understand why Stephen Harper is so afraid of saying anything eh?

Not when he's caught between a rock and a hard place.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is stuck in a box, with legal pressure on one side and political pressure on the other, says former parliamentary law clerk Rob Walsh. In the documents filed in an Ottawa courthouse last week, RCMP Cpl. Greg Horton stated that he had reasonable grounds to believe that Nigel Wright violated Section 121(1)(b) of the criminal code when he paid $90,000 of his own money to Senator Mike Duffy.

That section, entitled “Frauds on the government,” forbids anyone dealing with the government from making a payment to a government official “unless the person has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government with which the dealings take place.” That means, Walsh says, that Wright may face prison, and two lawyers who had knowledge of the deal may face sanction from their law societies, unless Harper says that he knew about the deal.

If he denies any knowledge of both deals at least three of his once closest collaborators could swing...

If he admits that he did know, he could hang HIMSELF.

Which makes me wonder what will happen if the Senate scandal goes to trial, and all of them and all the other Cons are called to testify under oath.

Will Harper really let his devoted religious fanatic Nigel Wright go to prison?

And what will Wright say in his own defence? If he has to swear on a Bible.

Especially since he has told RCMP investigators that he broke no laws. Which presumably includes Section 121(1)(b) of the criminal code.

And is this why he said this in an e-mail he wrote soon after the scandal became public? 

"The PM knows, in broad terms only, that I personally assisted Duffy when I was getting him to agree to repay the expenses," Wright said in an email May 14, according to the Horton's affidavit.

So he could try to clear himself, without nailing Harper to the cross he has been forced to bear?

And what will the two lawyers, Benjamin Perrin and Arthur Hamilton, say if push comes to shove?

If those lawyers didn’t tell the prime minister what was going on, Walsh says, they may face trouble with their professional associations, because if you are the lawyer for an organization, you have a responsibility to make sure that the head of that organization knows “What’s the duty of the lawyer?,” he said.

“The first question a lawyer has to ask himself with a question like that, is who is the client? If Wright were later convicted, the question is, was Wright the client, or was not he just the instructing officer for the organization? I would think it would be the latter. In which case, the head of the organization, Harper, would be the one that these lawyers would need to inform about the activities of the subordinate, Wright.”

Will they seriously claim that Wright was the client, and that they weren't working to try to preserve reputation of the Con ORGANIZATION?

And could they under the heat of questioning also claim that Harper knew in broad terms? And wouldn't that be interesting?

I mean how much broader could you get? If just about everyone in the PMO knew, at least three people personally made sure you were informed, and an e-mail chain as long as a city block shows that all the top Con operatives were running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to cover-up the scandal.

And how much more would you need before you could declare it a giant criminal CONSPIRACY?

Hey, didn't I tell you? That Senate trial is going to better than Perry Mason...

Or the Three Four Five Twelve Stooges.

And who knows what surprises await us when the REAL action gets going?

Golly. I wouldn't be surprised if the District Attorney has them dancing around like ballerinas trying to cover their asses AND Great Leader's. Or if old Perry Perrin loses this one eh?

And I bet I know how it's going to end.

Or they will hang one by one. One after the other.

Or they'll all go down TOGETHER...

Yup. Get your tickets now folks. This is going to be THE EVENT of the season.

Who needs a lousy football game?

When we got The Con Trial of the Century !!!

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Anonymous said...

They will be laughed out of court if they try to claim that Wright was the client of either Perrin or Hamilton.

Perrin was Harper's legal advisor in the PMO and there is no question that Harper was his principal client, unless there is there is something very unusual written into his employment contract, I suppose, to forestall that. Perrin's goose is cooked professionally unless he can demonstrate that Harper had instructed him not to tell him anything about the Wright-Duffy bailout scheme.

Hamilton is the Cons Party lawyer and Harper is the Dear Leader of that party. Again, it would be most unusual for anyone, or any party, to argue that the Party Leader, who represents the Party, is not the client of the Party lawyer, in the absence of some very unusual written agreement against this.

Wright reports to Harper in his capacity as COS, thus again it would be difficult to argue that he, not Harper, is the client of both lawyers.

Yup, it is clear to me that both Perrin and Hamilton face possible professional sanctions, unless they can prove that they were instructed by their client, Dear Leader, not to tell him anything so that he can mount the Sgt. Schultz defence.

Rev_Effect said...

Never thought about Wright having to swear on a bible in court... Man, he's gonna have to choose between Jesus and Harper, what WILL he do??

kootcoot said...

I still have no faith that taking an oath means ANYTHING to Con Slime. And maybe Nigel could set up a prison ministry, and rehabilitate hisself, like Little Lard Black of Crossdressing did at Club Med.

I heard on the radio that God and Jesus were personally responsible for the ConMan win in Provencher and that the Senate Scandal was behind them and they could get on with ruining Canada again!

The Mound of Sound said...

Do you really think the Conservative caucus and organization will allow this to get to court? Julius Caesar made it to the Ides of March. Stephen Harper won't. He won't be allowed to sacrifice the party to save his own skin. Is there room to land a helicopter on the lawn of 24 Sussex Drive?

Even if he wanted to, this thing has gotten too far out of control for Wright to save Harper. He knows that. Benjamin Perrin has panicked. The Law Society of B.C. has already opened an investigation. Think he wants to be disbarred to cover for someone who can't be saved? He'll be lucky to escape obstruction charges for the apparent destruction of his e-mails and electronic records.

Harper is a prolific but very unaccomplished liar. He simply expects people to accept what he says because he said it. That's all part of his faith/belief-based makeup. Eventually cpl. Horton is going to have to interview Harper, warning him that he could be prosecuted for giving false information. Horton can't conclude his report without doing that. It's one thing for Harper to have to confess all and resign in disgrace. It's quite another for Harper to be criminally charged.

I'm pretty sure that the Carson scandal, in which Harper lied through his teeth yet survived, convinced the prime minister that he was invincible, untouchable. Serious scandals simply evaporated over a summer recess. How many times did that happen? Plenty. When the Duffy business came up he rolled the dice again. This time it isn't working.

Simon said...

hi anon...I don't know much about the law, but I can't see how the lawyers could claim that they were working for Wright. But could they not say they were under the honest impression that Wright would only do what Harper wanted? They going to have to fudge it somehow so they can invoke reasonable doubt. Then of course there's this scenario: all of them take the fall for the good of the Party. Wright is an ascetic religious fanatic who has been working at a soup kitchen which is about the best preparation for prison you can get. He could still serve some time at a minimum security pen and return to Bay Street a hero. And as for Perrin and Hamilton they could calculate that they would be not be sanctioned too harshly. I don't know how that process works, but could they actually be disbarred? Because that
might encourage them to be more forthcoming, but anything less might not. I'm telling you it's better than Perry Mason... ;)

Simon said...

hi Rev... It could be a difficult choice. But after watching some TV footage of Wright jogging through the streets of Ottawa at four in the morning, and seeing the expression on his face, I'm betting, and hoping, that he goes with Jesus... :0

Simon said...

hi kootcoot....I'm not so sure. Nigel Wright is very religious, and although he is a Con fanatic he is better than Harper. I do think he has a sense of morality. He's been working at a soup kitchen since he left the PMO and I don't think he is doing it to impress anyone. I believe that Harper is the corrupting influence, and that his deeply flawed personality, and his iron control, have conspired to turn the party into a reflection of himself. Aided and abetted by a small army of mostly young acolytes and right-wing fanatics who add fuel to the flames. Don't rule out a surprise if the Wright case goes to trial...

Simon said...

hi Mound...I hope you're right, and I sure would like to be there when the helicopter lands on the lawn or even better the roof of 24 Sussex Drive. ;) And you in any healthy parliamentary democracy there would be no doubt at all that Harper would have to go. But the Cons aren't normal party, eight years of Big Brotherly control have turned them into a quasi-fascist cult. He has also placed his loyal followers in every riding committee, so who knows what might happen? Will he try to hang on? Will he come up with some insane diversion? Will he summon up the power of the rabble for his evil purposes? I hoping what you say will happen, and it should, in a sane place. But Harperland is totally insane, so although I'm optimistic that his days are drawing to a close, I can't help feeling it could get worse, a lot worse, before it gets better...