Thursday, November 22, 2007

Late night Mulroney/Schreiber

1. For someone being sued by former PM Mulroney for libel, Robert Thibault has certainly not been cowed into hiding and instead continues to ask questions about that $300,000:
Thibault questioned the idea that Mulroney was desperate for cash, noting that at the time the former PM had just bought a luxurious mansion in Montreal and was paying for extensive, expensive renovations.

In any event, Thibault said the real issue is whether the $300,000 was just the "tip of the iceberg."

"What I'm interested in is is this part of a bigger story? Is this part of $20 million or more or how much of transactions between Mr. Schreiber or others and the people around Mr. Mulroney."
It has been reported that Thibault has been communicating with Schreiber since the spring. What's Schreiber been telling him? And is this why Mulroney's spokesman is suddenly talking up a storm, attempting to create sympathy for his client?

2. There's a House of Commons Committee probe coming courtesy of the opposition working together and about to vote on its creation. Part of it will include a demand for Schreiber to testify in front of it:
The opposition parties have struck a deal to have the House of Commons Ethics committee study the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, CTV News has learned.

A motion to be voted on Thursday will also call for Karlheinz Schreiber to appear before the committee as soon as possible, according to an MP who sits on the committee.

The opposition parties, which outnumber the Conservatives, want the committee to have a broad study of Brian Mulroney's dealings with Schreiber.

They also want to examine Prime Minister Stephen Harper's conduct and that of the Privy Council Office in the way they handled letters Schreiber had sent Harper in March 2007.
If the motion to have Schreiber called as witness passes on Thursday, it could delay his extradition to Germany, where he faces charges of fraud and tax evasion.

His extradition is currently scheduled for early December.
Now this would be must see television. Let's see if the Conservatives attempt to block the issuing of a summons by the Ethics Committee, as the report suggests is imminent tomorrow. If they were to do so, it would be very poor optics. Their most likely grounds would be that a public inquiry has already been announced, this Commons committee hearing is therefore inappropriate, duplicative, and various other claptrap that would draw them out as attempting to once again stifle free debate. Here's hoping they do try, and are defeated soundly.

3. Allan Rock, Minister of Justice at the time of the settlement with Mulroney, confirms by way of Chretien, making the rounds on his book tour, that a settlement would not have been forthcoming had they known then what they know now. Would have been a "completely different ballgame."

4. It's unbelievable to read columns by people like Ian MacDonald decrying the partisanship in this matter and attributing it largely to the Liberals and the likes of Tom Mulcair. Fair enough, there's plenty of partisanship to go around these days. But let's not forget that the current crop of Conservatives have led the pack on this front. They put others to shame with their technique. The tarring of Liberals as corrupt, as stated by our own PM this past week, is an ongoing mantra in their arsenal not to mention the unprecedented attacks on the opposition's patriotism for daring to ask questions about the Afghan mission. So let's not anyone pretend that the current political climate is dominated by anyone other than the party in power.