Nigel Wright continues to be Stephen Harper's moat and drawbridge in the Duffy affair.
Steve says he knew nothing about the $90,000 gift via a personal cheque from Wright to the Cavendish Cottager and Wright backs him up. Even though Wright has resigned and his story about Harper being in the dark is, well, more than implausible, Wright's word still carries some weight.
Maybe not so much after all. Wright has some major credibility problems with the dodgy story he's spun so far. In particular, Wright's story of how he came to write the cheque is full of holes. According to Harper's former Chief of Staff, it was an impulse gesture, a "spur of the moment" thing. No, sorry Nigel, it was anything but spur of the moment.
There was actually a fairly elaborate process, involving lawyers on both sides negotiating terms and conditions, that pretty much shatters Nigel's "spur of the moment" claim and, with it, the remainder of his integrity and Harper's.
Nigel didn't just slip Duffy a cheque. He had Stephen Harper's former special counsel and legal advisor, Benjamin Perrin, draft the "letter of understanding" that set out the terms of the deal between Wright and Duffy.
|Harper and Special Counsel Perrin|
And, given that he's not a mere lawyer but a law professor and the prime minister's former special counsel and legal advisor, just what in hell was he doing facilitating a deal that seems to run afoul of all three enactments even to the point of possibly being criminal?
Benny, what were you thinking? By the way, exactly who was your client(s)? Did you tell your client that this was a dodgy deal that could land him/them in big trouble if word leaked out? And don't you know that lawyers aren't supposed to be doing this sort of thing and can even be made to answer for it?
Or was it a "spur of the moment" thing, Benny?
And so the web grows ever wider, ensnaring ever more characters. Now we've got Stephen Harper's Chief of Staff and Stephen Harper's Special Counsel in on the Duffy cash scandal. Who's next? Who knows? But don't worry, the prime minister knew absolutely nothing about any of this.