Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Nigel Wright and the Trial of Stephen Harper
His friends on Bay Street and in the MSM describe Nigel Wright as a "straight shooter." A man who wouldn't lie about anything.
But the evidence presented at the Duffy trial so far has shown him to be a grubby schemer, who would do anything to protect the image of the Con regime, and his depraved master.
And the story he is spinning couldn't be more absurd.
Nigel Wright has flatly denied one of the most politically corrosive allegations to emerge from the Mike Duffy spending scandal: that Stephen Harper’s top PMO aides orchestrated a whitewash of an independent audit of the delinquent senator’s residency expenses.
Facing his third day of aggressive cross-examination, Wright, who was Harper’s chief of staff at the time, said he did not “direct” either foot-dragging senators or the audit firm of Deloitte to clear Duffy of wrongdoing.
For how could he claim that he didn't try to put pressure on the Deloitte auditors by asking the Con bagman Irving Gerstein to speak to them.
Wright said he knew that top Conservative fundraiser Sen. Irving Gerstein had senior contacts at Deloitte — it audits the Conservative Fund Canada, which Gerstein chairs — but he did not ask him to influence the firm’s Senate audit. Wright said he just wanted him to be a conduit to kick-start communication.
When Gerstein's Conservative Fund is one of its biggest clients.
And how could he claim that he didn't lie to the serial liar Stephen Harper?
Inside the court, Wright told the trial he did not meddle in the audit and did not “lie to the prime minister” about the source of Duffy’s repayment although he did withhold the fact that initially Conservative party funds were to be used to repay Duffy’s disputed housing expenses.
“I don’t feel it was a lie. It just wasn’t on my list of things I felt I had to check with him,” he testified.
When there was no reason for him to lie. Harper already knew all about the deal, because his close aide Ray Novak knew all about it...
For how else would Novak have understood this e-mail? Even if the Cons claim he never read it.
If he didn't have prior knowledge of the deal? As Kirby Evans points out here.
And to believe that Novak wouldn't have shared that knowledge with his monstrous master is absolutely absurd.
Or as this Liberal video says, simply unfathomable...
But then the Duffy trial is and always has been the trial of Stephen Harper. As Lawrence Martin points out, it has opened a window into the conduct of his office.
The Mike Duffy trial is proving to have significant public value. With the thousands of e-mails tabled, it opens a window on the operation of the Prime Minister’s Office. It’s not as good as an oral record like the Nixon White House tapes. But it’s the next best thing.
It's not a pretty picture.
In the Senate controversy alone, the work of PMO operatives included: promising Mr. Duffy he would be removed from an independent audit; concocting a secret plan to have the taxpayer-supported Tory treasury pay Mr. Duffy’s debts while telling the public a different story; planning to create a puppet-on-a-string Senate subcommittee to create a constitutional formula that would allow Mr. Duffy to continue sitting as a Prince Edward Island senator; repeatedly ordering up blatantly false party responses to questions in the Commons on the controversy.
And it can and will be used against him.
I was speculating a while back that if integrity becomes a big issue in this campaign, Mr. Harper is in serious trouble. It is indeed becoming an important issue. The campaign still has two months to go. That’s two months for the Conservatives to move Canadian minds onto something else. They need to hope that the people, like Mr. Novak, don’t read the e-mails.
Stephen Harper and his foul government will be brought down for many reasons, too long to list.
But the Duffy trial has cemented his reputation as a serial power abuser, and revealed his government to be a criminal conspiracy.
And the truth if it ever arrives, will arrive too late to save them...
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Will Michael Runia be called as a witness?
The latest attempt at forcing the Senate to investigate the allegations – laid out in a detailed RCMP court document released late last month — came one day after the Tories used their majority in the upper chamber to defeat a motion that would have compelled Deloitte contact, Michael Runia, to testify before a committee. Also on Wednesday, Gerstein ruled as out of order a motion to have him ousted as chairman of the Senate’s banking committee until he either testified publicly, or was cleared by the RCMP.
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