Friday, February 22, 2008

Looking for our International Man of Mystery (plus notes from Lavoie and the Silent Chef)

Well, your delinquent kitty is late AGAIN. I'm finally posting some more notes from the Commons Ethics Committee's study of the Mulroney/Schreiber affair. I got a bit of a reprieve this past week, as the House was en vacances, but I'm still really, really behind.

In the meantime, here's some new drama: a coupla days ago, the Chair of the committee, Paul Szabo, said that he's considering whether or not to hold former PM Mulroney in Contempt of parliament if he fails to cooperate with the committee's requests for documents:
Szabo sent a summons to Mulroney's lawyers earlier this week demanding documentation about how Mulroney spent money he received from Schreiber and other details of the lobbying efforts he undertook on behalf of the controversial businessman.
In a separate letter, the Liberal committee chairman also sought a guarantee that Mulroney would personally appear for a second round of testimony on Feb. 28.
So far there has been no response from the Mulroney camp, and Szabo says that, in his view, MPs can't afford to let anyone ignore their authority.
You might recall the former PM's testimony suggesting that he was an "international businessman" and consultant for Thyssen International--that he used the connections he gained as PM to peddle Thyssen's light armoured vehicles to Yeltsin (dead), Mitterand (dead), and Jiang Zemin (uhhh...ixnay on that whole Ananmentiay Aresquay. Y'know...what with the tanks and all). Mulroney was then asked by the committee to provide some kind of, uh proof of his "legitimate" business with these leaders and has stonewalled for two months. Until now, that is:
"Mulroney sends old brochures as proof of international lobbying work"
After offering to provide a Commons ethics committee with documentary proof of his international lobbying efforts, Brian Mulroney has sent MPs copies of two old brochures for light-armoured vehicles.
That material, along with an unclassified NATO document that describes the general demand for such vehicles, does nothing to verify the ex-prime minister's explanation for the secret cash payments he received from Karlheinz Schreiber.
And it's not clear whether it will satisfy the demands of committee chairman Paul Szabo, who threatened to cite Mulroney for contempt of Parliament if he didn't cough up documents showing dates, meetings and travel arrangements by the end of the day Friday.
"The only documents which Mr. Mulroney has in his possession are brochures concerning the light armoured vehicle (LAV) produced by Thyssen and copy of a fax attesting to the possible interest of foreign countries, e.g., the United States and the United Kingdom (copy attached)," said the letter from lawyer Guy Pratte, posted on Mulroney's website late Friday afternoon.
[...] Pratte, in a separate letter to the committee Friday, said Mulroney will wait to see what transpires on Monday before deciding whether he'll accept an invitation to close out the hearings next Thursday.
[...] Szabo said Friday he finds Mulroney's wait-and-see attitude on testifying to the committee again "disconcerting."
"It would tend to suggest the possibility that, depending on what somebody else says, that will change my testimony. That does cause some concern."
Yeah. Got the ol' "404-File not Found," eh? Now that's ballz, with a 'zed!'

So. We shall see. Monday morning brings the long-awaited testimony of Elmer MacKay, Peter MacKay's dad and former Mulroney/Schreiber go-between. Karlheinz Schreiber will also return on Monday afternoon.

In the meantime, I've finally posted my notes from Feb 7 (yes, more than 2 WEEKS ago). The Luc Lavoie testimony is organized into six sections:
  1. Luc & Brian, BFF
  2. Why would an advisor give bad advice?
  3. "I know you're no stranger to profanity..."
  4. "Let's not get metaphysical here..."
  5. Szabo lets fly with an awesome (near) curse-word
  6. A high-maintenance relationship
François Martin, Brian Mulroney's former chef also presented himself to the Commons Ethics committee on February 7. Martin was called before the Committee to confirm or deny reports that he witnessed, "cash [coming] in like it was falling from the sky" at 24 Sussex. His testimony is organized into two parts:
  1. The cook, the thief, his wife & her envelopes
  2. The cook, the thief, his wife & her lamp shades

As you might gather from the last picture, the committee had a difficult time evincing anything from Mulroney's former chef. The "news" was really that Martin claimed that Stevie Cameron exaggerated and sensationalized his comments. Martin looked generally out of sorts and intimidated by the procedure, but insists that he wasn't "coached." Pay special attention to what Szabo says at the conclusion of the Martin hearing: you can tell that sumpin's not quite right here.

As for LOL Lavoie...he's either the worst PR guy in history, or Mulroney did a good job of keeping his friend squeaky clean. Favourite interaction? Lavoie's back and forth with the MPs re: who's really the 'Biggest Fucking Liar.' Not to be missed ;)

Next up: notes from the Lalonde, Alford, Doucet, Pelossi and Cameron testimonies. Egad, do I have my work cut out for me. A bientôt!

Update [Sun, Feb 23, 2:32 AM]: Thanks to Toe in comments: M. Pratte, Mulroney's lawyer has posted his latest response to Szabo. He steadfastly rejects that the committee can compel his client to testify on Thursday and quotes Pat Martin to support his position. You can also view the hilarious brochures etc. that Mulroney's camp sent the committee here, here, and here (!!)

Photo credits:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darling Kitteh,

Thanks for keeping me up-to-date!


2/23/2008 2:46 AM  
Blogger Godammitkitty said...

Thanks for the update, with the response from BM's lawyer--and links to brochures (those are hilarious, BTW).


2/23/2008 2:47 AM  

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