Friday, August 21, 2015

The Duffy Cover-Up: Why the RCMP Must Explain Itself

Now that we know that Stephen Harper's lawyer believed that Nigel Wright had Harper sign off on a five-point plan to payoff Mike Duffy. 

That good to go really meant good to go. And now that we know this:

Donald Bayne, Duffy’s defence lawyer, read from the transcript of a police interview Perrin did a year ago: “He [Wright] was explicit the prime minister approved of the responses to Ms. Payne [Duffy’s lawyer], so as I said at the time, the prime minister had approved all of the five points articulated by Mr. Wright.” 

“That was an accurate statement,” Bayne asked. “You said that to the police?” “Yes,” replied Perrin.

I think it's about time that the RCMP be asked to explain why it didn't charge Wright, or Stephen Harper's intimate advisor Ray Novak.

Thursday, Perrin described in detail a conference call on March 22, 2013, in which Wright told Janice Payne, Duffy’s then-lawyer, he intended to pay Duffy’s $90,000 tab from his own personal bank account. Ray Novak, at the time Harper’s principal secretary, was is the room and on the call, Perrin said. 

His confirmation of Novak’s presence is significant because Novak has told the police he didn’t know about Wright’s $90,000 cheque and Harper has said repeatedly since the events that members of his senior staff other than Wright were not aware of the arrangement.

For considering what we now know about the role of the two men in this obvious cover-up attempt, the NDP is right to ask the RCMP to re-open the case. 

The NDP wants the RCMP to consider laying charges against Nigel Wright and up to a dozen other staffers in the Prime Minister's Office for their part in covering up the scandal over Sen. Mike Duffy's expenses. 

In a letter to RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson, NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus says testimony at the Duffy trial has produced significant new evidence about the role played by Wright, Stephen Harper's former chief of staff.

Or at the very least explain why the RCMP chose to proceed in this manner:

All the charges facing Duffy were laid under the Criminal Code. The RCMP did not lay any charges under the Parliament of Canada Act, even though some legal experts have argued it would have provided an easier route to a conviction. 

The act specifies that no senator shall receive compensation for services rendered in relation to any matter or controversy before the Senate; it also makes it illegal for anyone to offer such compensation.

For if they had invoked the Parliament of Canada Act, Wright, Novak, and all the others would almost certainly have been charged.

And the NDP is also right to point out that RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson also promised he would explain the reasoning of his investigators.

Commissioner Paulson promises the public will eventually get an unprecedented look at the conclusions of his investigative team, hoping that shining a light on the process will put an end to questions about the RCMP’s independence.

“We suspected some illicit activity to have taken place. We have investigated that. We have considered the Parliament of Canada Act, considered the Criminal Code, considered every element of this thing,” he says. “Our reasoning, our analysis and ultimately our conclusions will be available for people to beat around the bush.”

But that was over a year ago, we're still waiting.

And until we can hear that reasoning, and measure it against what we know now, Paulson's words will ring hollow.

“The investigative team has done a very good job at exploring all of the corners and all of the shadows,” he says. “Maybe we’ll be judged in history to have been wrong, and it will be because maybe we weren’t smart enough or didn’t do something right. But not because we’re crooked.”

And sound suspiciously like what Stephen Harper has been claiming...

And that's simply not good enough. 

For if it walks like a cover-up, and it quacks like a cover-up, it probably is a cover-up.

The truth must come out.

And the RCMP must explain itself...

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Anonymous said...

Paulson was merely following Herr Harper's orders not to charge anyone but Duffy. Once we rid ourselves of this Crime Minister, the upper ranks of the RCMP needs a serious cleansing.

Anonymous said...

It is unlikely the truth will come out unless some senior civil servant / officer is willing to kiss their career good bye as has happened in so many other government departments over the past few years. Some have sued but many others have just moved on much to the detriment of the public.

Unknown said...

The RCMP needs to be investigated.

Unknown said...

A year of bafflegab and obfuscation is actually a very short period of time for the RCMP... They can go on for years and years..

Anonymous said...

OK, who's gonna start a petition, that asks Bob Paulson to provide a paper that documents the RCMP's reasoning, analysis and conclusions

e.a.f. said...

A B.C. blog, The Gazetter, was just discussing some of this subject.

its like this Poulson is an appointee of Steve's, just like the G.G. As such he owes his job to Steve. Steve's masters do not want this to go over the top, but that didn't work out so well. The idea was to keep Duffy quiet and when it all went sort of off course, well it was an object lesson to the others. Obey the leader and his masters or you too could be charged. Its not like there weren't enough of them already for other stuff.

if and I do mean if, the Cons loose the election, the shredders will be coming in mass and there will be very little left or the techie equivalent. Poulson will most likely resign quickly and find a nice job with an oil company, perhaps one owned by Communist China and he can explain Canadian law to them as they seek to invoke Bill C-51 when Canadians object to them bringing their standards to Canada, sort of like when they didn't follow their own standards and all that stuff blew up killing a lot of people, with dead fish and poison in the air. ah, how lovely it is to have Steve as P.M. Now we are stuck with the Communist Chinese for at least 15 yrs

Anonymous said...

R oyal C onservative M ounted P olice.
What the hell is so hard to understand about that?
The p.m.o. says "frog"....they jump! Any questions?

Simon said...

hi JD...I agree with you. The upper echelons of the RCMP need to be investigated for partisan bias. For I fear the are turning the force into Harper's police. And it's a real threat to our democracy...

Simon said...

hi RT...I doubt that we will see anyone come forward while the Cons are still in power. Harper has intimidated them too much. But as soon as the Harperite cult is defeated I for one will ask that a full and public inquiry be held into the activities of that depraved regime. For we deserve it, and history will demand it...

Simon said...

hi Pamela...yes they should be investigated, along with other government departments like Revenue Canada suspected of collaborating with the Con regime.

Simon said...

hi Bi Xilai...that may be the case. But Paulson promised an explanation, and we should hold him to that promise. And sooner rather than later. Or let him know that if he doesn't, when a new government comes to power he'll be fired as soon as humanly possible...