If Stephen Harper thought he could run away from the trial of Mike Duffy, as he was trying to do on Tuesday at a photo-op in Vancouver . . .
Which is about as far away as you can get from Ottawa, and Ol’ Duff’s even more massive photo-op . . .
The look on Harper’s face tells me that he now knows he can’t run, knows that the scandal will hurt him. And that it could be the death of a thousand cuts.
Starting with this one.
A Crown attorney prosecuting Sen. Mike Duffy’s fraud and bribery trial has contradicted Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s position on who is eligible to sit in the Senate for a particular province.
“Sen. Duffy was probably ineligible to sit as a senator, and to sit in the Senate as a representative of Prince Edward Island,” Holmes told the court.
“He was constitutionally eligible to have been appointed from the province of Ontario, but that is not what happened.”
Because it can only remind Canadians that Harper must have known that Duffy had lived in Ottawa for DECADES.
But was willing to bend the rules because he was his superstar fundraiser . . .
For who can forget that travelling Con road show? Or this nightmare.
Or the massive cash cow, who Harper and his Cons would do ANYTHING to protect. Even try to sanitize an audit into his activities.
And when that failed, according to Duffy’s lawyer Donald Bayne, tried to strong-arm him into a cover-up.
Bayne revealed for the first time details of an interview between Nigel Wright and the RCMP in the summer of 2013, which Bayne suggested explains the infamous “good to go” line — from a Wright email after he met with Harper on Feb. 22 to go over plans to have Duffy repay.
Reading out Wright’s words, Bayne said Wright acknowledges the prime minister approved a plan to threaten Duffy to repay expenses he didn’t owe.
“The prime minister, knowing all of this, gave the go-ahead to this course of action with Senator Duffy, all of which was for the pure political advantage of the government,” said Bayne. “It was appearance, not reality or truth that mattered.”
Which sounds very much like the story Duffy told, in his sensational speech in the Senate two years ago . . .
And makes it even less likely that Canadians will believe that Stephen Harper didn’t know how his faithful Nigel would try to make that massive problem go away.
And since Duffy’s lawyer has a stack of e-mails bigger than a house, that he slammed down on his desk yesterday for effect.
And since goodness knows what Ol’ Duff might say when he takes the stand…
As Bayne says he will.
Whether he likes it or not, Stephen Harper WILL be the tie that binds this scandal together.
Stephen Harper doesn’t expect to testify at Mike Duffy’s trial, but he didn’t need to be in the courtroom. His name was dropped throughout the first day.
In one way or another, the PM was tagged as the beginning and the end of the Duffy debacle.
The evidence will roll out now over 40 more days, in detail, without Mr. Harper’s testimony. But there will be argument that the PM is a big part of the case, from beginning to end.
So if he thinks he can run away from that scandal.
Or float over it.
He’s in for a hard landing…
That sordid scandal has finally caught up with him.
It will do him great damage.
And it will help destroy him . . .