Thursday, November 21, 2013

Has Anybody Seen Nigel's Cheque?

Just asking.  Mike Duffy says he never saw a cheque from Nigel Wright.  He's got a copy of the cheque his lawyer got from the Conservative Party but nothing, he claims, from Nigel Wright.

You have to give the Cavendish Cottager his due.   Time and again what he's said turns out to be true.  Time and again what Stephen Harper has said turns out to be evasive, misleading or flat out untrue.

Money certainly went to Duffy's lawyer for him to clear his Senate tab.  The story is that Nigel Wright wrote a cheque on his account.   That might be true but did he write it to Duffy or someone else?  Who cashed it?


Anonymous said...

You asked a key question, MOS.

What if Nigel had written the cheque to the Cons Party to reimburse it the $90K after Gerstein had balked that it was much higher than he had expected? This could also explain why he did not hesitate to create a paper trail. I have always believed that if one understood why Nigel wrote a cheque (instead of using cash), it would go a long way to understanding what really happened.

Or Nigel's cheque wasn't really from his personal account after all (anyone can claim anything if they think no one is going to see the cheque). It could also explain why he had to use a cheque instead of withdrawing cash from the reputed secret account.

Now either of the above would be really interesting, wouldn't it?

BTW did you notice that Duffy's cheque was to the Receiver General? However, if I remember correctly, some journalist had asked the Receiver General if they had received Duffy's cheque and was told to ask the Senate. If true, even the RG seemed to be under PMO orders not to reveal anything.

The Mound of Sound said...

The question of the cheque is intriguing. It could shed light on others who might have had some involvement in the under-the-table cash deal. I think it's a near certainty that Duffy's solicitor would have kept a photocopy of whatever she received be it a cheque, money order or some other bill of exchange. Whatever form it took, the money was deposited to her firm's trust account so there will be some sort of paper trail. Unless that isn't what happened either.

the salamander said...

.. I understood Nigel's money was a bank draft. The draft went to Duffy's lawyer.. into that firm's trust account. Then a cheque went to Duffy, deposited at his RBC account. If I can find that article and verify .. I will .. but methinks it was in a Kady commentary, today.

Scotian said...

I agree with you regarding the cheque, but for me after sifting through the documents (I'm still absorbing what I've read, and I expect it will take another pass or two over the next few days before I have it all fully settled in my mind) I am left with an even larger overall original question, one I've had since this began. Why did this PMO go to such extreme lengths to protect Duffy as opposed to any of their other Senators? What do they fear Duffy has on them as recorded evidence that was so dangerous to them that they were willing to risk what is blatantly criminal conduct (I'm sorry, but anyone that does not grasp that ANY secret payment be it loan or gift, to a sitting Parliamentarian is automatically doing wrong and almost inevitably breaking criminal law clearly has no business being anywhere near government, let alone in the PMO) to prevent it from being revealed?

I've seen election fraud issues being seen as the most likely explanation, or perhaps he has the real "Pierre Poutine" story tucked away, I really do not know. That he must have something that terrifies them though I think cannot be in dispute, especially after what was revealed in the documents supplied by Corporal Horton. The docs show how Wright was truly fearful of Duffy going before the auditors, Kady over at CBC seems to have noticed this as well in her article "3 loose ends dangling from the latest Wright/Duffy court files". Given her record as a good process person who gets the nuances better than many of her fellows in the national political press gallery I have been paying her work particular attention when it comes to this issue, and I think she makes some very important points in that article.

So while yes seeing the cheque would be of interest, and likely illuminating on some elements of this issue, at this point I am almost convinced it is a secondary consideration. Please note I said almost, and I would be more than willing to change that opinions if something were to come out to provide the basis for it, but by this point there has been so much else to appear that this seems to me less likely to reveal major revelations than other elements that have since come to light. This is truly a political scandal for the history books though. Got to love this clean cut Conservative government we were told to expect by Harper way back in 2005.

Kirby Evans said...

I think Salamander is correct about the check. That seems the most likely scenario.

Scotian - I am sure that this is what most of us outside the Conservative Party expected from Harper and his cabal. I am only surprised by how long it has taken for them to torpedo their own boat.

The Mound of Sound said...

If they were fearful of Duffy back when the deal was made they plainly aren't afraid of him now. It's hard to imagine what more Harper could have done to incur Duffy's wrath than what he's done over the past month.

There is more to this story. I keep getting told that. By some accounts Duffy has many hundreds of pages of documents. What they are and what they concern is a mystery to me.

It's said he's already turned over 200-pages of materials to the RCMP pertaining to Wright-Duffy-Harper.

deb Scott said...

oh Scotian...I so hope that Duffy does have something big holding over Harpers head, and I so hope it comes to light soon>
I have to thank mound and his commenters, Im learning so much...more then power and politics can ever explain:)The finer details that get meshed out fills in the blanks.

deb Scott said...

perhaps Harper was willing to pay off duffy and sweep his dirt under the carpet...because he was an excellent fundraiser. Maybe his celeb status and his skillset were important for filling coffers, was said he helped garner millions of dollars in donations. Perhaps he really thought Duffy was worth saving...and then when duffy turned on them...threw him under the bus in anger.

The Mound of Sound said...

Deb, there's no doubt that Duffy was worth his weight in campaign contributions and a tireless campaigner for the party. One reason he could never meet the residency test is that he spent so much time criss-crossing the country to make appearances at public and party events.

Yet I'm not convinced that was enough to justify this high-risk gambit that can only be considered an act of desperation.

Scotian said...

deb Scott:

I have to agree with MoS, I am not convinced Duffy's value as a fundraiser and helper to make the Harper CPC seem just like the old PCPC in new clothes would have triggered the level of insane risks taken by men who had to know just how dangerous to themselves and their government these actions would be if they *EVER* saw the light of day. I never make the mistake of assuming I am smarter or more perceptive about politics than those who make their living at it, especially at this level, so when I can see the obvious risks I have to presume they did/do too. I also know, thanks to having a bunch of them around me in family and out growing up that lawyers are truly bound by codes of ethics that if breached and then reported to the bar can get their license to practice law revoked, either temporarily or permanently even without it rising to the level of criminal conduct. So the idea that lawyers, again at this level would take these kinds of criminal risks for anything other than something truly extreme makes no sense to me. No, Duffy clearly represented a major threat to the very existence of the Harper government in some manner, that is the only rational explanation for these actions taken by such capable people at the very top level of our government. What that threat was/is one can only speculate, and so far the only area that comes to mind has to do with possible election spending issues, as was mentioned already, however, just because this is all I can think of given what is known to date does not mean it is the actual explanation.

All I know for sure is that for the PMO something made Duffy different than any other Senator, including Wallin, who also was a major fundraiser and partisan aid in the electioneering of 2011, and that she was left out to hang while Duffy was being protected makes it appear that there is something truly unique about Duffy even beyond his fundraising and electioneering aspects. Indeed, if that were the basis for this action I would have been more expecting to see it taken for Wallin given she had more serious credibility in the wider public than Duffy since before becoming Senators, and yet she got nothing more than the minimum from Harper claiming to have seen nothing out of line with her expenses versus others from her region earlier in the year. No, there is something truly special about Duffy's case, and I really don't think we have yet seen anything to explain why that is the case. There is no way someone like Wright would have acted this way, let alone the rest of the senior PMO staff involved unless it was something very serious in their minds indeed.

That is why the big question in my mind is still, why do all this for Duffy alone?

The Mound of Sound said...

I'll be posting a piece in the morning that tries to make sense of this. It now strikes me as somewhat unlikely that the payoff was Wright's idea.

I'm guessing that Harper must have ordered his chief of staff to make the Duffy problem go away which left Wright with no choice but to come up with the payoff scheme. I think that, just as Duffy was pressured to take the deal, Wright - and Perrin - must have been pressured to come up with a deal.

There's an erratic quality to this. It's a clumsy, ill-conceived, even harebrained scheme. There's nothing remotely elegant about it. This isn't what you might expect from a highly educated, highly accomplished operator like Nigel Wright.

Purple library guy said...

Thinking of payoffs . . . maybe they actually paid him in some way to do that hatchet job on Dion?

Anonymous said...

During the time when the Cons were about to vote the bad Senators off the island, there were several Con MP's that stated during Question Period that Duffy still has not repaid his expenses. I don't know why the media has not followed this up. It is possible that Duffy got the money, but never did the honourable thing with it. Kinda like Skyler giving Ted money to repay his tax bill in the series Breaking Bad but he had other plans for it.

deb Scott said...

interesting....very interesting. I guess if Harper was willing to save Duffy above all others...he definitely has something that can bring the whole govt crashing down. He tends to shed problem people quickly and with a finality that he just couldnt manage with Duffy.
I have to admit...Duffy's performance on the senate floor captivated me. I mean he is a very charming, very eloquent speaker. He also knows how to play the game better then most, with having evidence hidden away, having folks listen in on his calls. All his years covering politics as a journalist must have seeped in.
So whatever information he can blackmail Harper with...its definitely recorded somewhere.

thanks for the input Scotian...very much appreciated. Your logic is flawless!

the salamander said...

.. shades of gray .. they can build up slowly until one realizes its black ..

Its become very very dark for Stephen Harper et al ..

Do any of you.. MOS or commenters, believe the election of 2011 with 247 ridings affected by live & robo calls was legitimate? How bout the Cadman Affair ? Afghanistan detainees? How do you feel about Tom Flanagan's ideologies fermented in Stephen Harper's narcism? Ray Novak? MacKay - Orchard? The roots of Harper & Northern Alliance? Omnibus bills laden with destructive attacks on environment? How about Nigel Wright & Onex & he's now 'managing' our Canada Pension Plan? Fantino's twin campaign bank accounts & PMO starlet Stephen Lecce in his office along with a large data guru with a red goatee? Baird - Clement = 50 mill Muskoka Gazebos?

My point? A tottering, rotten, misbegotten 'political' fabrication is leaking pus. MOS mentions the tipping point, way way back. And Duffy is the 2 headed beast. Just as he was so valuable in grooming 'the base', now he can scare the daylights out of them.

Wright is from the corporatist power faction. He is 'business' .. not used to hearing 'no'.. and he collaborates with Harper, who has grown very fond of nobody saying 'no' to him. Flaherty is their toad

But now.. the horror !! Somebody is leaking info from inside .. others are looking at the koolaid with suspicion. Suddenly others realize they may go down in infamy. Kellie Leitch is suddenly revealed as a bizarre corporatista, the Brazman goes down hard.. rumbles in the forest.. those damn injuns are at it again.. what's this Idle no More? Sort out BC Mr Oliver !! Get on the shoe phone to Christy.. Joe !! Ulp ..

'Sir !! The rebels are in the woods outside Kanata and the Kananaskis.. and there are reports from Sakatchewan !! Retirees in Victoria are threatening our Imperial Harper Shock Troops and data wanks ..!!'

Black Swans over Stephen Harper .. It does not have to make any sense.. it just has to be. It just is. Watch .. Harper is falling apart at the seams.. its almost unbelievable.. but true.. and The Perrin emails that have 'been disappeared' ?? Say what ??

Boffo !! Bingo .. MoS ... !! You had it nailed
Remember the name Benjamin Perrin .. folks
He may rue the day Harper hired him ....

the salamander said...

.. see page 5

how the funds moved

rumleyfips said...

It strikes me that Duffy was happy to work for Harper, including doing some of his dirty work) but didn't trust him even a little bit. Why else would he cache emails in multiple hideholes , record phone calls and even arrange for witnesses to some othe the PMO's dealings.

Scotian said...

Anon @ 1:07am:

I think what they mean is that Duffy did not repay the Senate from his own funds yet, not that no repayment happened at all. There does not appear to be any dispute that the 90k was paid to the Senate back in the Spring and that it did not originate with Duffy (I put it that way because we have yet to have any actual evidence to prove the funds came from Wright beyond the words of people involved, there has been no physical evidence to corroborate this, and while I am inclined in this case to believe the story I have to allow for the possibility that it isn't true) but Nigel Wright. What the CPC are trying to do is further paint Duffy in a bad light to further discredit anything he comes out with, they are saying that Duffy still hasn't done the "Wright" thing and repaid his Senate debt with his own resources despite the fact that the debt was repaid by Nigel Wright already. It is a talking point and nothing more IMHO.

deb Scott:

I don't know how flawless my logic is, I try though to stick to lines of reasoning that I can support based on reality as we know it as we know it. I do that in all aspects of my life, in politics it does tend to be a bit more difficult given the shall we say tendency to distort inherent in the political world from all sources, especially those in power whatever their brand/flavour. I have always assumed that everybody lies, especially those with things to protect and that one must always be most skeptical of those who hold power in our political system, even when they are those you aided in electing yourself, that this is a part of basic civic duty. I know, terribly old fashioned of me.

So thanks for the compliment, and whatever benefit you get from my observations and commentary you are most welcome to. It is after all part of why I make the effort to do so in the first place. Well, enjoy your day, I have a rather busy one away from the computer so I may not have anything to add until tonight or tomorrow at the earliest.

Alison said...

Nigel Wright email to David van Hemmen, March 23, as per RCMP ITO :
"My cheque is in the correspondence folder. I don't have enough funds in my chequeing account, so I have emailed Murray Culligan to ask him to transfer them in from another account. You might call him on Monday morning to assure that he is doing it, as I dated my cheque for Monday and I expect them to negotiate it that day."

Murray Culligan is a banking advisor with CIBC.
A copy of the March 25 CIBC bank draft to Duffy's lawyer is Item #33 of Cpl.Horten's November 15th ITO

Anonymous said...

Deb Scott: Please, please learn the difference between then and than. In each case here you ought to have used than......more then power and politics can ever; game better then most

The Mound of Sound said...

@ PLG - Duffy's payoff was his appointment to the Senate, a place where the impecunious puffster could put in a few years and bag a comfy pension.

Anon 1:07 - I assume they meant that Duffy didn't repay his Senate allowances from his own pocket. I really doubt that Nigel Wright would have left it open to Duffy to pocket his money.

@ Sal. Yes the election was tainted but there's not enough evidence to conclude the results would have changed much without the robocalls. That's something no one really knows.

@ Rumley. I think you're right. Duffy never really trusted the prime minister or the Tory Senate leadership for that matter. He knew he was resented by senior Tory senators for upstaging them.

@ Alison. Thanks for the clarification.