Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stephen Harper and the Good to Go Cover-Up

Well he wasn't in the House of Commons today. He was out in Lac Megantic handing out a $95 million cheque.

But he couldn't run away from the questions about another cheque.

The one he was apparently prepared to write Mike Duffy to paper over a budding scandal with party funds.

The one that can be boiled down to this question: who do you believe Stephen Harper or the police? 

The police documents released Wednesday show that, on Feb. 22, Mr. Harper’s chief of staff Nigel Wright was closing in on a deal that would see the party pay about $44,000 in housing claims and legal fees for Mr. Duffy, a senator first appointed by Mr. Harper.

Mr. Wright said in a Feb. 22 e-mail that he had “the go-ahead” on repayment, but that “I do want to speak to the PM before everything is considered final.” An hour later, he wrote in an e-mail: “We are good to go from the PM.”

And I'll take the police version eh?

Because there is absolutely no way any reasonable person could accept Harper's version of what that "good to go" meant.

“I’ve said many times it was my view from the beginning, and it always has been – I said to Mr. Duffy right from the outset, that Mr. Duffy should repay his own expenses. I was told that that was what he had agreed to do. I was told that that is what he had done. When I learned that was not the case, I took the appropriate action."

Not when you read the lead-up to on page 32 of this report.

Where it's abundantly clear that Wright is seeking approval to spend Conservative Party money to cover Duffy's expenses and his legal bills.

"Related to that, funds disbursed from the Party under point 3 would be paid to Ms Payne's law firm, since a good portion of them are in payment of their fees.

And then ask yourself why would Wright need to get the green light from Harper for Duffy to pay back what he owed with his own money?

It just doesn't make sense. And the fact that it was a "point three" makes it clear that this was a DEAL. Probably along the lines of you do this, you keep your mouth shut, we make the problem disappear.

And that's exactly what would have happened if this hadn't happened.

The party later balked at the plan when the final bill came in at more than $90,000. Mr. Wright ended up using his personal funds so Mr. Duffy could repay his expenses.

And just because Wright ended up footing the bill doesn't change ANYTHING.

The fact is Stephen Harper agreed to a deal that would in effect pay off Duffy to try to cover-up a scandal.

Just like, as I've pointed out before, he was once prepared to use party funds to try to payoff a Conservative candidate he didn't like into dropping out of an election race 

“In fact there is no agreement and he hasn’t been paid anything,” Stephen Harper said in 2006 when reporters on the campaign trail questioned him about remarks made by Alan Riddell who, asked why he’d withdrawn his candidacy from the riding of Ottawa South with just a few days left in the race, said the Conservative Party, fancying another candidate, had offered to pay his campaign expenses – about $50,000.

And then lied like a thief.

“The party does not have an agreement to pay Mr. Riddell these expenses,” Mr. Harper said, although emails later proved otherwise to a judge’s satisfaction: Mr. Riddell sued for the money and won.

Just like he is doing now.

Just like they all are...

Just like they always have.

But the good news is this: If or when the Senate scandal goes to trial, and the deal that Wright paid for is compared to the deal the party was prepared to pay for, I'm betting that they will turn out to be exactly the same in respect to the COVER-UP.

Which is of course the real crime at the heart of this scandal.

The one that by giving the good to go to the original deal, Stephen Harper is guilty of committing.

And the one for which he should be questioned and hopefully charged. For how can  Wright alone be charged with that cover-up? When it wouldn't have happened if Harper hadn't approved the whole idea in the first place.

And if they want to compare both deals maybe they can ask Benjamin Perrin.

The Law Society of British Columbia is considering an investigation of Benjamin Perrin, former special counsel to the prime minister, for his alleged role in the deal to repay Mike Duffy’s expenses.

Both Perrin and Hamilton had a legal obligation to inform the prime minister of any potential criminal wrongdoing, says criminal lawyer Michael Spratt. Either they kept Harper in the dark, or “the lawyers acted appropriately and ethically, which means the prime minister must know more than he has been saying he knew,” Spratt told CTV.

Yup. I think we're good to go on this one eh?

Sooner or later his lies will catch up with him.

And we shall put him where he belongs...

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e.a.f. said...

this all began when stevie slime decided to annoint duffy to the senate to represent PEI, when he actually didn't live there. that was the first rule he broke and it was all down hill from there. Having read parts of the document, I believe the cop. Harper, he lies through his teeth. Like he would not have had to give out a $95 Million cheque if there hadn't been an accident. If the rails were properly inspected by the government and if the government hadn't permitted only one engineer on the train, most of this might never have happened.

bcwaterboy said...

Steve and Mayor Rob should go on a permanent fishing trip and leave the rest of us alone.

Anonymous said...

Nigel Wright's 'good to go from the PM' email. presented to the court by RCMP investigators, pretty much seals the deal. Steve is alleged to be part of a criminal conspiracy to bribe a Senator.

Anonymous said...

On the Lac M├ęgantic - it's the classic formula: privatize the profits, socialize the losses.

Same as it ever was.

Simon said...

hi e.a.f....You're quite right, Harper ignored the rules to reward Duffy for shafting Dion, so Ol' Duff could raise lots of money for the party. And now he's paying for that decision in spades. And yes the Lac Megantic tragedy was a product of the Con mania with de-regulating everything. He always talks about making our streets safer, when in fact he's making our lives more dangerous. And if given half a chance would turn our country into a jungle...

Simon said...

hi bcwaterboy...yes what a good idea. How about they go fishing for great white sharks in a leaky dinghy... ;)

Simon said...

hi anon...I agree with you. I don't know whether it will happen. But the original cover-up plan only differed from the second one because Wright paid not the party. Wright would not have done anything is Harper hadn't given him the green light. So Harper is the main man, and he should also be charged...

Simon said...

hi anon...yup. The same as it ever was. How they can get away with such a scam I will never understand. But it is a scam, and sooner or later they will get caught....