Monday, May 20, 2013

Harper Can't Talk His Way Out of This One - And He Won't, Not This Time

In February, when the Wright-Duffy cheque scheme was hatched, two of Harper's closest aides were Nigel Wright, Chief of Staff, and Benjamin Perrin, Special Counsel and personal legal advisor to the prime minister.

At First, Two

Lawyer Nigel Wright, holder of two law degrees, one from Harvard, somehow decides to cut Duffy a $90,000 cheque on a "spur of the moment" brain fart and completely overlooks the Rules of the Senate, the Parliament of Canada Act and the Criminal Code, all of which the deal seems to violate.

And Then There Were Three
Lawyer Wright then goes to lawyer Perrin, Mr. Harper's personal lawyer, to have Perrin draft the letter of understanding setting out the terms of the payment.   Lawyer Perrin who is also a seconded professor from the UBC law faculty, likewise misses entirely the Rules of the Senate, the Parliament of Canada Act and the Criminal Code implications of the deal he's facilitating.

The kicker, however, is lawyer Perrin's lawyer-client relationship with his most important client ever, Stephen Joseph Harper.  He's the legal handmaiden of the prime minister but he's going to go ahead and make this dodgy deal happen without breathing a word to that client?  He's going to purposely go out of his way to conceal this from his client, the prime minister?  He's going to breach the most fundamental professional responsibility he has to Stephen J. Harper?


Here's the skinny.  Without Harper's full knowledge and consent (or direction), lawyer Wright would never have engaged lawyer Perrin and without Harper's full knowledge and approval, lawyer Perrin would never have touched this dodgy business.  Harper didn't know?  No, that has collapsed under its own weight at this point.   And that means, if there was really any doubt, the web now has Stephen Harper snagged.

To recap.  Two of Harper's most intimate aides and advisors were in on this, had ethical and legal responsibilities to the prime minister and yet supposedly went behind Harper's back and concealed this from him.  Sorry kids, that cements it.  Wright's in, Perrin's in and beyond any reasonable doubt, Stephen Harper is in - right up to his neck.

Now I'm even more comfortable with the Senate insurgency theory.  Whoever is driving this acted knowing that Stephen Harper was already trapped.  They had the smoking gun, they had a drawer full of them.  They knew about the cheque.  They knew about Wright.  They knew about the laundered Senate report.  And they knew that it wasn't just Wright but Wright and Perrin.   And because of the cheque, the chief of staff, the laundered report and Stephen Harper's personal lawyer - because of that combination of those details - they knew Stephen Harper was utterly trapped.   Since this began they've been pushing on an open door.

It's no wonder the Conservatives have fallen as silent as a funeral parlour at midnight.


the salamander said...

.. does Ray Novak go to South America with Harper as he normally would have? Or does he remain in Ottawa to relay and act on directives transmitted from RCAF Harper?

Do they (Stevie/Ray) really think Baird, Van Loan, Kenney or 2nd rank Leitch, Poilievre, Rempel will suffice? Toews ?? Fantino ?? Clemente ??

Harper will appear with Loreen somewhere, they'll wave, he'll comment on a tragedy gravely.. and this Friday prorogue the nation to spur the economy & create jobs for Canadians .. and attorney - client privilege will fall upon the Duffy, Wright, Wallin sideshow @ 500.00 per hour, per lawyer, per participant.

Fade to black ..

Later it will be autumn .. months later

bcwaterboy said...

One would have to have an IQ of around zero to not know that harper knew every single solitary detail of the Duffy cheque. This man is so good at what he does that he will survive this mound. He could be caught on camera strangling his grandmother and all he would have to say is that he is growing the economy and creating jobs for funeral directors. He's that good, and the 40 odd % that keeps this slime in power will put him there again. If the progressive community ever hopes to rid us of this dude, the attack ad should be up and running no later than tomorrow morning, otherwise we're hooped.

The Mound of Sound said...

Cadman never led to a police investigation. This one will and the statutes in question are just as clear as the facts.

I love the intrigue here. Rudyard Kipling wrote: "softly, softly, catchee monkey." You draw in your prey, let them make silly blunders, and then pounce when they're at your fingertips.

This all could have been leaked at once but it was released in an orderly fashion that encouraged both Harper and Wright to make self-incriminating statements which were then repudiated by additional information. This was staged like a 3-act play.

This is what happens when you come up fast to the junction of Hubris and Sloppy and the brakes fail.

bcwaterboy said...

I wonder if we'll ever know the identity of the mole(s) here? If harper were to step down, who would rise up? McKay, Baird, Clement, Kenney, or even Kent?

rumleyfips said...

Stevie must now decide between two stratagies; both danger laden.

If he calls a fall election, the -anti-Harper leakers will have a schedule that allows an damaging information to be used to greatest effect.

If he waits two years, this may not be the only scandal to be revealed. Hell having no fury like a Pufster scorned. Plus, he's not the only one with the goods.

The Mound of Sound said...

BCW - I would be very surprised if Harper didn't know the plotters. It seems to be an open secret that they're of the "Old Guard" in the Tory Senate caucus.

Who would take over? Two of those named are gay, that wouldn't sit at all well with the social conservative backbench. MacKay? He's damaged from the F-35 fiasco and has shown himself too limited for the job. Kent? I think his scandal - i.e. his pre-politics role as a lobbyist for the energy companies - is just beginning to emerge.

The Mound of Sound said...

BCW - One name that comes to mind is Jim Prentice. He was always highly regarded, very capable, and safely outside the Harper government long enough that he could come back "clean."

@ Rumley - Harper would need to see exactly the right conditions to risk a fall, snap election - the strategy he used to demolish Ignatieff.

He will have to see how events wax or wane over the summer, ferret out and vanquish the dissidents, gain control of the narrative, hope, recover the support of his caucus pray that nothing else comes out to infuriate them and figure a way to make the public wary of Justin Trudeau. That's a very tall order especially for a guy who is already weakened and surrounded by a cloud of hostility.

Dana said...

Don't forget that the G&M, NattyPo and all the bastard offspring, BLack Press, Quebecor in total, CTV News and Global News will be doing all they can to minimize the damage too. No investigative journalism, no updates.

The Star and CBC News (such as it's cowering self is) will be the only news outlets still reporting on any of this shit 2 weeks after Johnston lets Harpie prorogue.

The RCMP aren't going to do a goddamn thing about anything except maybe lock Charlie Angus up for the summer and claim they 'lost him in the system'. Mulcair will not miss him.

Justin will maintain his comfortable silence except to go to a few BBQs in places no one's heard of and inanely mutter niceties about things no one cares about.

Canadians will fall back into their comfortable numb state.

Dana said...

Here, have a little fun and ask the Dean of UBC Law if not informing clients is a special permission class or can anyone take it.

That's where Perrin is teaching the next generation of future bottom feeders.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'll be trying to track down one or two additional bits of information over the next few days. It ain't easy being 2500 miles and 30-plus years removed from Ottawa.

Targeted by Harper said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Maybe the disgruntled senate insider is LeBreton, the old Diefenbaker Tory.