Thursday, April 21, 2016

Duffy Walks, Harper Convicted

For Prince Edward Island senator, Mike Duffy, it was a 31-0 shutout. For Stephen Harper, it's a legacy of disgrace.

Mr. Justice Vaillancourt acquitted Duffy of all 31 charges. He found Duffy to be "a piece on a chessboard" of a scheme orchestrated by a prime minister's office he condemned as "mind-boggling and shocking."

It should be a matter of days before the announcement of the retirement of RCMP Commish Bob Paulson. He was at the helm when the "immaculate bribery" charge was orchestrated.

The next question is how does Duffy recoup the roughly half-million in legal fees this trial has cost him? There are a lot of Tory senators and other party officials who are probably searching for transcripts of what unfortunate remarks they might have made back when they were in thrall to Harper. Not all of their comments were defamatory but a good many were and they were dripping with malice.

Will his fellow senators be collegial when the Cavendish Cottager arrives to reclaim his seat in the upper house? Are we about to see the Tory ranks in the Senate hastily thinned out?

UPDATE -  31 acquittals, straight across the board. The most impressive aspect to that is the rarity of it. Who gets charged with 31-crimes and gets found not guilty on every last one of them? But this judge, Vaillancourt, went further than not guilty, "off the hook." Time and again he found nothing wrong in Duffy's conduct. That's not an acquittal. It's exoneration.

This raises the question that won't go away. When there was no blameworthy conduct, nothing approaching criminal conduct, in so many of these charges, whose idea was it to lay the charges? Why did the Crown even proceed? Who was pushing this all along? Yeah, you're right.

What now? There's a dandy tort anchored in the ancient Common Law, the tort of "malicious prosecution." A 31 to zero acquittal outcome certainly establishes a prima facie case of malicious prosecution. Not even one conviction? None?

And who will be the defendants? Stephen Harper, Nigel Wright, Ray Novak, LeBreton, Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen, Hamilton? Probably.  Ooh, we might finally get to see Stephen Harper being cross-examined under oath.

Sweet dreams.


CuJoYYC said...

Sweet dreams indeed.

rumleyfips said...

Not guilty is no surprise , but a judge going that far to show complete innocence is. But, what about the $90 grand. if innocent it was never owed and the receiver general has accepted it under false pretenses. But who should the money go to ?. Nigel or Mike ?

I always thought this prosecution was so bad, costs should be awarded . \Not usual but not unprecedented n cases of prosecutorial overreach.

Dana said...

Pretty hard to imagine Paulson resigning. There would need to be a whistleblower among the upper echelons of the force I suspect. I also think Paulson has created a sufficiently repressive regime at HQ that most senior officers are simply trying to survive to pension time and who gives a shit about anything else. So Paulson will stay. Besides he's already proven he's pretty biddable and I'm sure that's seen as a bonus in the Trudeau crowd especially now that they've got some leverage.

My larger concern is the Ottawa Crown office. What became of "likelihood of conviction" here? I'm pretty sure the office isn't composed entirely of idiots and babbling courtiers. Someone, somewhere in that mare's nest must have had some sort of notion that this was all a Potemkin village and woulld come back to bite them on the ass. Why isn't that person piping up?

Unknown said...

Let's send it to duffy's legal team!

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Dana - let's face it, Ralph Goodale is public safety minister and he has more than ample reason not to give any quarter to partisan RCMP commissioners. Remember what Zaccardelli did to Goodale. Now we have what appears to be collusion between the head of the RCMP and a corrupt PMO that led to a raft of implausible charges, none of which succeeded.

Did the Crown fail? Word I got long ago is that neither of the Crowns wanted anything to do with this case. It sounds as though they were strongarmed to take it. Queens Park has some explaining to do.

Dana said...

In other words the Crowns in Ottawa are the babbling courtiers who bowed low and said "yes your malevolence".

The Mound of Sound said...

Yeah, Dana, it sounds that way. Expect more revelations. Duffy has a half-million dollar bar tab to settle and he's not in the mood to be cutting cheques. He's in the catbird seat right now and I figure he's going for some payback.

Anonymous said...

Harper, Wright, Paulson and the rest of the Conservatives walk too. Canadians get stuck with the bills. Corruption and waste in the Senate has been legitimized by the court, and now it will increase. Where is the victory in that?