Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Shakedown?

There's a lot going on behind the scenes in the Karlheinz Schreiber/Brian Mulroney story. When Stephen Harper announced that he was appointing an investigator who will recommend how he should proceed, he seemed uncharacteristically shook up.

The reason for his disquiet is, presumably, that this scandal has the potential to derail Harper's momentum towards attaining a conservative majority in the near future. Such is the influence of Mulroney in the Conservative party that any action against him will cause distraction and dissension in the party.

It could go further. Some prominent party members, such as Peter MacKay, are so closely entwined with Mulroney and with supporting him in this scandal that they could go down when all the facts come out. Schreiber hinted at coverup when he said that he had sent a letter to Harper months ago that outlined what is known to date. The coverup could go far, far deeper.

In fact, Schreiber, who is a smart man with a smarter legal team, seems to be initiating some sort of shakedown. He has been telling reporters that he has more tales to tell and more evidence to reveal. My guess is that Harper now knows that his government is implicated.

Perhaps Schreiber's goal is to delay his extradition to Germany by making himself indispensable to an inquiry in Canada. Perhaps he is hoping to blackmail the government into something more. What we know about him is that he has a long history of extremely dubious dealing; he gave Mulroney a significant amount of money but feels that Mulroney reneged on his end of the deal; and, facing the rest of his life in jail, he has very little to lose.



wilson said...

''My guess is that Harper now knows that his government is implicated.''

First off, there were no public funds involved, except for the $2m Chretien gave Mulroney for defamation. (unlike Adscam)
When news broke in 2003 that Mulroney allegedly took cash payments, Chretien could have called an inquiry, but didn't.

Secondly, who served in the Mulroney caucus that is now in caucus?
Garth Turner did.
Are you suggesting that all the Red Tories - PCs are implicated too?

Yappa said...

Hi Wilson -

Those are mighty big leaps you're making. Nope, I meant only what I said: that people in the government are probably implicated in the scandal. Someone in the PMO presumably recieved that letter from Schreiber and didn't pass it on to Harper. In addition, there are people in the current government who have very close ties to Mulroney, who have been involved in defending him, and who may even have been involved in some of the scandal surrounding him.

I was thinking more along the lines of what Norman Spector wrote in a recent column in the Globe: "The judicial inquiry proposed by the Liberals would smear reputations on a daily basis, whatever the ultimate findings of the committee."

What I would like to see is the truth, whether it clears Mulroney or condemns him. I don't think we'll get at it by letting Schreiber set the agenda, or by suffering through another bitter inquiry like the Gomery one (which smeared a lot of innocent people).

You seem to be arguing that since there were no public funds involved, there's no crime. That's just not so. Is your partisanship so strong that you support corruption as long as it's done by people you support?

This is a serious issue of alleged government corruption. It is a serious problem and should not be a partisan issue.

wilson said...

'This is a serious issue of alleged government corruption.'

I agree, if true, it is serious for Mulroney. But it is not government corruption,
it is alleged corruption of a man who was PM.
The alleged crime was the German paying Mulroney for lobbying/kickbacks? .
That is what I meant by private funds vs public funds. An alleged crime just the same.
After an 8 year court battle, this week, he says Mulroney was paid cash while still PM.
That's new.
The letter sent to Harpers office 7 months ago was just a re-hash of the 2003 G&M report and a book on the subject, if I understand correctly.
Why didn't Chretien or Martin call an inquiry in 2003 when the 'evidence' was first published? Or in 2004,or 2005?

Mulroneys friends and MPs coming to his defence are no more guilty of corruption than was Dion, being the Unity Minister when Chretien set up the Sponsorship fund.
I think would be a stretch to smear the Reform Party with this one.

Who knows what evidence there is, the German produced a contract with no signatures, no date and no dollar value as evidence that Mulroney tried to get him to validate the $300K paid.
Not gonna cut it.

I am not a Mulroney fan. nufsaid.