Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Wherein Mike Duffy Drops Stephen Harper Straight Into the Sewer
Senator Mike Duffy says Stephen Harper is an outright liar. Duffy told his fellow senators that it was Stephen Harper's decision that he repay his housing allowance payments at a meeting with chief of staff Nigel Wright also in attendance.
Duffy claims he said he didn't have the cash to cover the reimbursement whereupon Nigel Wright, again in the presence of Harper, said, "Don't worry, I'll write the cheque."
If, as Duffy's lawyer contends, the senator was extorted into accepting Wright's cheque and the terms that went with it, it sounds like Sideshow Steve might just be part of a rather curious conspiracy.
Duffy also implicated Harper's current chief of staff in making threats. This time, he says, his wife and his sister were on the line listening in as Ray Novak told Duffy to resign or he'd be tossed to the wolves in a senate ethics hearing.
Before the Prime Minister's Office turned against him, Duffy said one of the promises made to him was that he would not be audited by Deloitte, a private accounting firm that was looking at senators' expense claims.
Duffy said he was also promised that Government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton would whip the Conservative Senate caucus in order to prevent his expulsion, should there be a motion to expel him.
At one point Duffy referred to the Prime Minister's Office as the "kids in short pants."
Harper, of course, has repeatedly assured Parliament and the Canadian public that he had no knowledge whatsoever of the Wright-Duffy under-the-table deal, that is was dead wrong, that he would have stopped it cold if he had known and that Nigel Wright paid for his sins by having to resign.
In a standoff, Harper probably has some advantage albeit slim. However if Duffy has evidence tying Harper into it - and his lawyer claims that exists - then we may have the first prime minister in modern history to use his office to perpetrate a criminal offence. We're not there yet but we don't have all the facts, all the documents yet.
I think I've seen this movie before:
TorStar's Thomas Walkom says no one should have any sympathy for Harper for this is entirely of his own making. In appointing Duffy he knew full well that the guy lived in Kanata, not Prince Edward Island. This never should have happened but we do have a despot who believes laws and constitutions don't restrain him.