His Dwarfship has been running his mouth like a punk on crack ever since he reached the Senate, spewing homo-erotic fantasies of unruly Eastern premiers sporting with each other in bed. If this is what the porcine paddy chooses to mark his first speech in the Senate, one can only shudder to imagine what curious thoughts must go through his tiny warped mind when he's at home, alone.
I mean, let's face it. This is Mike Duffy, the bald little troll himself. But, dirty old man in a raincoat sick as his Senate speech might have been, his performance on the weekend was a gut-buster. He fed a Conservative gathering in Halifax on Saturday this hilarious line about his appointment, "it is not a position I sought, but it is a challenge that I accept with enthusiasm."
On a point of order. About Nigel and his cheque. Duffy maintains that Harper not only knew all about it, he was physically present with Duffy and Wright. Duffy also elaborated on the threat of what would befall him if he didn't play ball.
And then there was the Bearded One, Benjamin Perrin, PMO Special Counsel, personal lawyer to the prime minister himself. Barely two months after Duffy received the cheque, Perrin abruptly quit Ottawa and fled to the safety of his old teaching gig at the University of British Columbia. That never looked good and it smelled even worse.
By now we all know from the email dump that Perrin was in on this, in up to his neck. We don't know everything yet, there's more to come. I've got that from a guy who has read the emails, including at least a few that weren't turned over to the RCMP investigators like the one Don Bayne dropped in Nigel's lap this morning. But, back to Perrin, Wright's unindicted co-conspirator. When the scandal erupted, Perrin released a statement that said this:
Okay, so Benny is saying he didn't participate in Nigel's "decision" to write the cheque. But he participated in the deal and was involved throughout, both in transmitting Wright's cheque to Duffy's solicitor, in the strategy to get Duffy to play ball and so much more.
Yes, Perrin was Harper's personal lawyer. There existed a solicitor-client relationship between them, one of the most powerful legal relationship of them all. Within the scope of his activities on behalf of Stephen J. Harper, Perrin gets to keep them secret. They're privileged. The privilege is not the solicitor's, it is the client's. It is Harper's. That is solicitor-client privilege.
But the solicitor-client relationship is about far more than just keeping secrets. It is about a solemn, fiduciary duty owed by the solicitor to his client. The lawyer has a number of obligations to his client some of which bear directly on the shenanigans of the Wright/Duffy business.
It's clear that what was concocted could easily blow up. One of the emails speaks of a sense that this was going to end up badly. Perrin's foremost duty was to Stephen Harper and that duty extended to not participating in something that could blowback on the prime minister, damage Stephen Harper - especially if he had the slightest reason to believe this was being done without Harper's knowledge. UNLESS Ben Perrin knew that Harper was fully aware of what was going on or had delegated to Nigel Wright the authority to do as he saw fit. In a quirky way it's a bit like Pilate washing his hands in that bowl of water, Harper pretending to absolve himself of any responsibility for what was being done with his blessing.
And not to cut the point too finely but Perrin did know about Nigel's decision long before Wright actually cut the cheque. Nigel wasn't going to write the cheque until Duffy had agreed to the terms. Perrin was involved in negotiating those terms through Duffy's solicitor. Perrin was involved in developing the "strategy" to persuade Duffy to accept the terms. This was all before Nigel Wright actually decided to take pen in hand and put his signature to that cheque. Perrin's statement of denial is really just a long chain of carefully chosen weasel words tidily strung together to convey a misleading contention.
This is probably a good point at which to revisit the RCMP role that led to this flawed investigation and the curious notion of the Immaculate Bribe or Precium Immaculata, the virgin birth of the crime of bribery in which a bribe is criminally accepted that no one actually offered.
You got a sense that this was going to be a political operation when someone in the senior ranks of the RCMP leaked an email from Commissioner Bob Paulson strictly forbidding his senior officers from any contact with any MPs or Senators without the approval of the office that reported to Public Safety Minister, Vic Toews. Ouch..ssss... feel the burn?
And what of the investigating officer, Corporal Greg Horton.
But here's the thing. Horton then seems to accept their implausible assertion that Harper knew nothing of it. He gives no basis for that except the assertions of people who were either principals in or privy to the commission of an apparent and serious crime. It's as though the fix was in.
And it wouldn't be fair to pass up the slithering senatorial snakes, David Tkachuk and Carolyn Stewart-Olsen, loyal unto death Harper shills and Masters of the Universe or at least the Internal Economy Committee where they dutifully laundered Duffy's audit report at the express direction of the PMO.
Two of the reports — the ones addressing the expenses of Harb and Brazeau — disagreed with that finding and concluded the forms senators sign when declaring their primary and secondary residences in order to receive the living allowance is clear enough for them to have known better.
“Your subcommittee considers this language to be unambiguous and, plainly, if a senator resides primarily in the (National Capital Region), he or she should not be claiming living expenses for the (National Capital Region),” read the reports for Harb and Brazeau.
The report tabled on Duffy does not express any disagreement with this finding of ambiguity by Deloitte and even goes so far as to say that the committee is addressing the issue.
And, to add a touch of hilarity to the saga of Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen, there's this bit of "balls of brass" denialism.
At this point, kids, I don't want to inflict any more eye strain upon you. If you really need more go here, here, or here.
In conclusion I'd like to repost a reader participation piece from October, 2013, "A Show of Hands, Please." If you played before, please feel free to play again.
Hands up everybody who believes Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy are old jogging buddies.
Hands up everybody who believes Nigel Wright and Mike Duffy are old pals from their university days.
Hands up everybody who believes Nigel Wright bails out MPs and Senators with money problems, 90-grand at a pop, just because.
Hands up everybody who believes Nigel Wright, as chief of staff to prime minister Harper, would pull this skulduggery behind his boss's back without so much as a 'by your leave.'
Hands up everybody who believes Benjamin Perrin, PMO chief legal counsel and personal legal advisor to the prime minister, upon learning of the under-the-table deal to funnel money to Mike Duffy, would have cooperated with Nigel Wright and would have chosen to conceal that from the most important client he will have in his life and thereby breach his most fundamental professional obligations to that most important client for all time.
Hands up everyone who believes that Woodcock and van Hemmen would also have dummied up to keep Stephen Harper in the dark about this potentially explosive gambit.
Hands up everyone who believes that top Tory senators, getting wind of the deal and agreeing to launder committee reports concerning their investigation into Mike Duffy, would go to such great, personal risk without assurances that their prime minister was directing the operation.
Hands up everyone who believes that Wright, Perrin, Woodcock, van Hemmen, as well as senators LeBreton, Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen knew fully what was going on but Stephen Harper knew nothing.
Hands up everyone who believes Stephen Harper only discovered the existence of the Wright-Duffy affair after it broke in public.
Hands up everyone who believes that Stephen Harper wasn't trying to hide anything when all e-mails, documents, memos, phone messages, voice mails and documents of any possible description pertaining to Wright-Duffy mysteriously vanished from the prime minister's office.
Okay, let me count the hands. Hey, how come there's no hands? None, not one, really? Alright, let's try this one.
Hands up everyone who believes Steve Harper was in on this from the start and approved the Wright cheque and later saw to it that his PMO was sanitized to remove any paper trail.
Oh, okay. There you all are. Nice to see so many still with us.
And, with that, goodnight everyone, adieu.