Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mulroney's Colossal Mistakes

According to Mulroney mouthpiece, Luc Lavoie, the former PM made a "colossal mistake" in accepting money from Karlheinz Schreiber. Funny he would look at it that way.

Mulroney's problems aren't with taking the cash-stuffed envelopes in coffee shops and hotel rooms. It's what he did afterwards that amounted to colossal mistakes - plural.

It's why he omitted any mention of getting the Schreiber schmiergelder money in his sworn evidence in his law suit. It's why he seemingly waited until after Schreiber's bank records came out to admit receiving the money and then running off to Revenue Canada to make an "anything but voluntary" disclosure. Those are colossal mistakes and there may be more, who knows?

Mulroney is furiously slicing and dicing what's left of his reputation with utterly far-fetched explanations. Like why he didn't disclose his business relationship in his testimony. Why? Because he wasn't asked. He's right, the government's counsel didn't put that specific question to him but Mulroney answered it anyway. He volunteered that he had no dealings with Schreiber other than to meet the guy for coffee a couple of times. That's Mulroney's statement. It's on the record, given under oath. And it wasn't remotely true.

Mulroney's last-ditch defence is tantamount to saying that, since you didn't ask the specific question, I was entitled to give an utterly false and misleading statement of my own and if you were deceived by that, hey, it's your problem. Sorry, Brian, doesn't work that way. You're bound by your voluntary statements, regardless of the question asked, because you made them under oath. There's no special law for Brian Mulroney. Just the same one the rest of us have to live by. Oh yeah, Brian, you're a lawyer and nobody knows that better than someone from your profession.

Bear in mind that Mulroney hasn't said these things himself. Luc Lavoie has said them, the boss's mouthpiece. Lavoie has said a lot of things that weren't exactly true but they were his statements, not Mulroney's, and Lavoie is free to say pretty much anything he pleases. He's free to test one tall tale after another in a hunt to find the one that will fly best for the boss. So far he's not gotten anywhere but, hey, you have to give him full points for trying.

He had it all. A good life, every advantage, even some of his reputation back. But that wasn't enough for Brian Mulroney. He had to come back into the public eye as Stephen Harper's mentor and he brought all the old arrogance along with him. If he'd just laid low until after Schreiber was cooling his heels in a German jail cell, he might have dodged this bullet but life in the public eye was too enticing. Oh well.

Mulroney's fortunes took another hit yesterday when Jean Chretien told an interviewer that he'd discussed the latest information with Allan Rock, the former justice minister who handled the Mulroney lawsuit settlement. Chretien got out his trusty mallet and wooden stake and said the two agreed that, had they known of the Schreiber payments, there wouldn't have been a settlement, there wouldn't have been an apology. Payback is a bitch, Brian.

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