Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Another "Dog (Ate My Homework) Day" Wraps Up Duffy Trial, For Now.

The Duffy trial is adjourned until 18 November.  Don Bayne finished mauling Chris Woodcock, Harper's former PMO director of issues management with yet another fitting bit of the, now almost standard, implausible "the dog ate my homework" testimony.

Woodcock argued over whether the senator was forced to accept a deal cooked up by members of the PMO that made him admit he may have mistakenly claimed living expenses.

Bayne referred to a police statement made by Woodcock in which he said that the PMO had to force, convince and persuade the senator to agree to the plan.

When asked to clarify for the court what he mean by the the word force, he said it was interchangeable with the words convince, persuade or agree.

"The meaning that you're trying to attribute to the word force is not the meaning that I intended to convey. I intended to use persuade, convince. All of those were the same concepts to me when I gave that answer."

But Bayne responded that there are lots of ways to force people.

And indeed there are, counsellor.  There are also lots of ways to skin cats and you seem to know most of them pretty well.

Poor old Chris. Yesterday he had to tell a whopper about not reading the final line in a very short email from Nigel Wright telling him that Wright was covering Duffy's Senate tab. Today he was left squirming, forced (as it were) to invent a new definition for a simple, five-letter word - "force."

You see, the meaning Bayne was trying to attribute to the word force was, well, "force." How could anybody be so ridiculous?

Interesting question. What if, when the trial resumes on 18 November, Stephen Harper is the former prime minister of Canada? He'd have a much harder time avoiding the witness box, wouldn't he.

Update: - meanwhile, out in the hinterland on the campaign trail, a janitor finds the door to his utility closet locked. There's a noise inside, a voice, an angry voice. He can't make out much of it but he does catch the words "goddamn that f#*king Magna Carta!"


deb said...

wish this trial would go fullstop til october

Anonymous said...

Let me be perfectly clear. The dogs did not eat the emails. Laureen left the cage doors open one night, and the cats ate the emails.

The Mound of Sound said...

"And then I awoke, in the middle of the night, and, feeling peckish, nipped downstairs and ate the cats."

deb said...

lol, its a credible moment in toryland:)

Anonymous said...

It is, like, Tuesday. Trial was long tome scheduled until Friday of this week. In my average less than middle class world you do not cut out of an ongoing job even if it is summertime.

Anonymous said...

Not an ethic to be seen among this whole crew. Harper is a follower of the philosopher Leo Strauss of the Chicago School (Calgary School)Strauss believe that perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power was critical because they need to be led and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them. What a handy philosophy for narcissists and sociopaths. Shadia Drury of the U of Sask wrote a paper about Strauss after she left U of Calgary. Flanagan and crew probably scared the heck out of her.

Anonymous said...

Hey MOS: Attended the cross exam. of Ben Perrin as I had told you I might. Very interesting. Came off with the impression that his testimony was credible. He explained clearly that he was legal counsel to the government of Canada, and, therefore, the PM and PMO were his clients. However, he had been told to take directions from a few people, including the COS, Wright.

Detected tension between him and the PMO and the PM. Things like his being blindsided by the secret negotiations going on directly between Wright and Duffy or his lawyer, Payne. Even joked that that is not the way to conduct business when one has a lawyer. Then he even rubbed that in by joking that lawyers have to work with all types of clients.

The tension between him and the PM appeared to be on several fronts, including the requirement for appointing Senators. He made it clear that the PM, after asking for his legal advice through Wright, had refused to accept that owning $4K property was insufficient. He also testified that he believed the words "good to go" came from the PM, not Wright.

I thought that either he was fortunate that he had already given the notice to leave the PMO so he could afford to stand on principles and ethics (he joked about this himself by saying that it was easy to stand on principles when the moving van was coming in a few days' time). Or he was smart and had realized that he would get into a lot of trouble if he stayed in the PMO due to the potential illegality (at least against the Parliament of Canada Act in paying off a sitting legislator) so he scooted.

And he confirmed to defence counsel that he had not been charged on any of his action pertaining to this case.

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Anon and, yet again, thanks for this helpful information. I see Perrin in a far better light now. At first I had thought of him as being just another PMO brigand who hightailed it back to Vancouver for self-preservation. Now it appears he might have left knowing that his job was untenable with a client like Harper. We've all had clients we had to 'fire' because they were much like Shifty. Folding up his tent and slipping away could have been Perrin's equivalent of ditching his client. It would have been fascinating had Bayne pursued that point.

I would love to see the record of his statements to the Law Society of British Columbia investigators who delved into this after his return to LotusLand. Unfortunately those things are ordinarily kept confidential unless the matter proceeds to a formal hearing.

Perrin's very clear account of the meeting at which he learned of Wright's payment, attesting to Novak's attendance, even Novak's lack of any sign of surprise, does make Wright's evidence that Novak was in and out of the room and probably missed it appear a blatant contrivance. Couple that with Wright's implausible explanation when confronted with the email about Harper that he failed to turn over to the RCMP and Wright's choirboy mantle evaporates.

Thanks again.

the salamander said...

.. love your last two paragraphs... from my view, you're the absolute first to identify the risk that Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister might be required to testify at the Duffy trial, after losing in the upcoming election. That delicious potential alone might swing 1 or 2 % of the voting population to abstain from voting Conservative..