Spent almost two hours tonight with a veteran trial lawyer/long-time Tory insider dissecting Week One of the Duffy trial.
Stephen Harper won't be testifying at trial? Who says? Duffy's lawyer, Don Bayne, has been quietly establishing the foundational basis throughout the week that the trial judge may have no choice but to issue that subpoena.
Rumour has it that the Crown might just drop the whole essence of this proceeding - the bribery charge. People close to Nigel Wright are said to be floating the idea that Nigel may never take the stand. No bribery charge, no need for Nigel to spill his guts on Harper, Perrin et al.
Imagine what you might do if the core charge is inexplicably dropped? A motion to stay/dismiss all the charges? A proceeding in malicious prosecution or vexatious proceedings?
Benjamin Perrin. I hear there's an e-mail in which Perrin writes that Duffy will fold either out of embarrassment or because the PMO-directed trial will bankrupt him. Benny, did you really write something that potentially damaging to yourself and your prime minister? Were you that much of a cynical douchebag?
The Crown. Did they get their lessons in prosecutorial brilliance from watching Marcia Clark in the OJ trial? How about opening your trial with an expert witness who testifies that the applicable laws are hopelessly vague? If the laws are so vague who influenced the prosecution to proceed? If those laws are so vague, why did RCMP investigators choose to pretend that they demonstrated the criminal culpability of the Cavendish Cottager? Is RCMP commish Paulson heading for early retirement?
What about the Prince of Darkness? The documents introduced in court this week seem to show that this prime minister lied his ass off throughout this scandal as to his role, what he knew and when. Nigel's written statements are as good as fingerprints on this score.
The Crown may have decided not to call Harper and Harper may believe he's off the hook but Steve's megalomania isn't the end of the issue. He may be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the witness stand and, if so, it won't be for just an hour or two.
This is shaping up to be the biggest political trial in Canadian history. It's set for 41-days but it could drag out far longer. The defence is planning to interrogate Nigel Wright for more than a week and who knows how much more?
This is not going to die an easy death.