Friday, November 22, 2013
"Minutiae" Don't Matter.
When a mob boss orders a hit, he may not know or even care whether the victim gets a knife in the back, a bullet in the brain or a bomb beneath a car seat. He's just as guilty of murder one way or the other. If he orders a guy shot and the hitman chooses to use a knife instead, it doesn't matter. Can you imagine defence counsel standing up and saying, "But, your honour, if my client had known this guy was going to use a knife instead of a gun, he would have stopped it right there on the spot."?
Nigel Wright says Harper never knew about his decision to give Duffy $90K. Harper did know about and did approve of funneling money to Duffy to clear his Senate tab. Harper, ergo, did approve and direct the giving of money to Duffy in connection with his office. That's the offence of bribery and corruption. It's also pretty clear that Harper likewise approved the "stipulations" under which the money was to be given. These could only have been that Duffy play along with the cover story, stop talking to the Deloitte auditors and that top Tory Senators be told to make the Duffy audit problems go away. That too is squarely on Harper.
If the amount changed and the source of funds changed, it doesn't matter. That's the difference between a knife and a bullet and a car bomb. It doesn't matter. Minutiae don't matter.
What is demonstrably clear from Wright's e-mails is that he would not have acted without the knowledge and approval of his prime minister. He wasn't going to do anything behind Harper's back. He wasn't going to deceive him. To the contrary he was going to clear the illegal payment with Stephen Harper and obtain his approval before acting.
Constable Greg Horton may be right that there's not sufficient evidence that Harper knew the "minutiae" of the bribe but that doesn't matter. The prime minister not only knew of the plan to bribe the senator and corrupt the Senate, he approved it.
When the charges come down, the first one named should be Stephen Joseph Harper.