Saturday, December 08, 2007

On to Mulroney

Columnist Stephen Maher writes today that at his appearance before the Ethics committee next Thursday, former PM Brian Mulroney is expected to have a new justification for taking Schreiber's cash - Schreiber paid him to lobby the United Nations and world leaders on behalf of Thyssen.

Maher adds, "Mr. Mulroney’s latest story is perfect, because it does not involve lobbying the government of Canada, which is forbidden by the MPs’ ethics code."

To recap: First Mulroney said he had never had any dealings whatsoever with Schreiber. When that was disproved in spades (er, thousand dollar bills), he tried a new tack - it was a perfectly legitimate business agreement for Mulroney to help Schreiber promote his pasta business. Then Schreiber pointed out that the pasta business didn't start for years after the agreement with Mulroney.

The new story is laughable because if it were true, there is no reason for Mulroney not to have told it before. Why would he lay out two giant whoppers to avoid making such a benign story public? In addition, why would no hint of this reason have come from Schreiber, who has painted a confusing picture that includes the Bear Head armaments plant, the pasta business, influence with Kim Campbell (who Schreiber says he thought would win a majority in 1993), and a sort of giant gratuity for services rendered while PM. Everything in Schreiber's account is Canada-centric; there has never been any mention of international lobbying.

If Mulroney does try to dump this latest lie on the Ethics committee, then I hope they grill him appropriately: How do you explain the conflicting stories you told previously? Give us details of your lobbying of world leaders: strategy, who, when, where (and call those leaders for corroboration).



wilson said...

Weston wondered the same:

Lavoie: "The first thing any lawyer will tell you is to not volunteer any information. In answer to a question, he (Mulroney) said that since leaving office he had seen Schreiber in Montreal twice for a cup of coffee ... They had chatted and shared a cup of coffee.

"The question about money was never asked
by any of the nine lawyers
on the government side, and he did not volunteer anything as he had been advised to do."

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

Particularly odd, seeing how Schreiber already gave a perfectly sensible and legal and quasi-ethical rationale for Mulroney taking the cash: it was paid out even when Mulroney didn't lobby the government!