Thursday, July 11, 2013

Clue: It was the PMO in the Senate with a chequebook

Some prophetic words on corruption from the Angry Baird in 2006 ...  (h/t comments at The Tyee )

Now that the Cons' previous bullshit lines have been cleared out of the way, to wit :
a) Duffy was being 'honorable' and "showed leadership" in deciding to pay the money back all by himself because it was in his own words : "the right thing to do", and 
b)  "the Royal Bank helped me ... Nigel played no role" 
c) Wright was just 'helping out a friend' although Wright says they aren't friends
d) "protecting taxpayers" from Duffy's debts - as if garnishing wages is not the way this is being handled for Duffy's senate co-fraudster Patrick Brazeau  
e) Conservatives had nothing to do with the cheque, despite Senator Gerstein, head of the Conservative Fund, being willing to pay off $30K before finally balking at $90K
f) there was no "deal", although it turns out a condition attached to receiving the cheque was Duffy shutting up
g) nobody else in the PMO "knew" about the cheque, downgraded by Steve three days ago to nobody but Wright "made" the decision 
we are left with this :

According to RCMP Corporal Greg Horton's excellent summary :
On June 21, 2013 my office received a letter from Peter Mantas, which I have read, advising that Mr. Wright recalls that he told the following people that he would personally provide funds to repay Duffy’s claimed secondary residence expenses:
a. David van Hemmen (PMO)
b. Benjamin Perrin (PMO)
c. Chris Woodcock (PMO)
d. Senator Irving Gerstein
"Would" is future tense, seeming to indicate they were all advised before Wright wrote Duffy the cheque on March 26.

In his interview with Aaron Wherry from May 31, Senator David Tkachuk explained his chats with the PMO on what would become the Senate's whitewashed report on Duffy's expenses, released May 9 :
Tkachuk : I mean, you’ve got to remember I would have been having a number of discussions with Nigel, I had a few of them. He didn’t tell me to do anything, really. We discussed Mike and the situation that he was in. I mean, the Prime Minister’s Office was very concerned about this. They don’t like this scandal going on. It was hurting us politically.... 
Q: But just to be as categorical as possible, the decision to not write the report as harshly as the others…
A: It didn’t come from someone else giving us an order to do this. Let’s put it that way.
Q: Or any advice to that regard? 
A: Well, I got advice from all kinds of people. I’m not going to tell you who they are, but let’s put it this way: I talked to people in the PMO ....
Q: Did anyone in the Prime Minister’s Office ever suggest to you how the report should be written? 
A: Not really.
Q: What does that mean? 
A: Because when I ask for advice, people will give advice. I did ask for advice, I’m not denying that. But all I’m saying is, no one gave me any orders, no one came to my room and told me what to do.
Nigel Wright sent the cheque to Duffy's lawyer on March 26. 
In April, Tkachuk, head of the senate committee investigating Duffy, was both tipping Duffy off about Deloitte knowing he claimed expenses while on holiday in Florida on the one hand, while on the other being badgered by calls from Wright, asking "‘When is it going to be done? When is this thing over with?"
Or as Steve's Director of Communications Andrew MacDougall confirmed the Tkachuk-Wright pipeline on May 24 when questioned about it : 
“It is standard practice for our office to work with members of House and Senate committees to draft lines in response to committee studies and reports.”
On May 8, after weeks of such "line drafting", Tkachuk and Stewart Olsen had two of three passages critical of Duffy removed from their report; the third was expunged by the Senate's Con majority the following day.

Yet Steve still claims he personally knew nothing about the cheque - either from Wright or from the three advisers inside the Prime Minister's Office Wright told about it sometime before March 26 - until he heard about it on the news a minimum of seven weeks later on May 15.

Meanwhile, Tkachuk's replacement as chair of the Senate Internal Economy Committee,  Senator Gerald Comeau - the guy who as of July 2 was unable to confirm details on whether Duffy ever actually did repay that $90K he got from Nigel Wright - will be teaming up with Steve's buddy Stewart Olsen again behind closed doors in a 3-person committee charged with looking at Pamela Wallin's wayward Senate expenses.

Take it away, Steve ...



Anonymous said...

It was Nigel Wright, on the grassy knoll, with a chequebook. And let me be absolutely clear, that guy in the fifth floor window that looked uncannily like Stephen Harper was not Stephen Harper.

Nadine Lumley said...

The Bay Street "Wonder Boy" Nigel Wright DOES NOT GIVE AWAY HIS OWN MONEY! Not a single dime came out of Wright's pocket!

It would be a simple matter of Nigel Wright INVOICING the “Conservative Fund of Canada” account (the Conservative Party’s --> taxpayer-subsidized war chest <----) multiple times for some phoney "Financial Consultant Fees" to accrue back the $90K. CPC treates that Fund's coffer as their private "Honey Pot."

Are there any conversations between Conservative Senator Irving Gerstein (Harper’s bagman) and the PMO about Nigel getting paid back from the “Conservative Fund of Canada” — the federal party’s war chest Gerstein once chaired.


Anonymous said...

Alison, I'm confused did the PM ever say that he was "very clear" about this. I may have missed it somewhere :-0
Great timeline & video posts
John B.
Langley, B.C.

Alison said...

John B : You know, I think he may have mentioned being "very clear" once or twice - obviously working his way up to the more Nixonian "perfectly clear".

Nadine : I get your point that if it was proven Wright was to be reimbursed by the ConFund of which he and Gerstein were founding directors, that would clinch PMO interference in the Senate as being a pro quid pro deal, but I think we have that already. Money not a concern to Wright or he would never have taken a job that pays less in a year than he used to give to charity.
Something else was going on here - either a remarkable tone-deafness for which he is not known, or else he knew Duffy was going to blow without it.

Anon : No that wouldn't have been Steve - too close to the action.

Anonymous said...

Wright says one condition was for Duffy to shut up about it. Then Wright tells 4 other guys. Such discipline.

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