Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Duffy Deal: Persons having dealings with the government

Interesting article by Crawford Kilian on the Sensitive and International Investigations unit of the RCMP affidavit (that unit is charged with investigating matters of significant risk to Canada's political, economic and social integrity).

Some further thoughts based on that article:

If Nigel Wright is a "person dealings with the government" and so the Duffy agreement to accept the "gift" might fall under section 121, then are not the other 3 PMO officers mentioned in the affidavit also "persons with dealings with the government"? 

If so, if they participated in the "scenario" that Duffy in his one email said Wright was "working out", would they also not be in the same position as Wright (the RCMP says they have not yet decided whether to lay charges against Wright in connection with the $90,000 "gift", but this seems to indicate there might be grounds for such a charge)? 

And if two or more persons with dealings with the government decide or agree (without "directing" one of them) that one of them should make a "gift" in such circumstances (something Wright and the other PMO officers named in the RCMP affidavit have denied happening), could this not amount to conspiracy under the Criminal Law Act?

No doubt the RCMP team is considering all these angles. When all the named persons are interviewed by the RCMP unit, a more complete picture should emerge as to who did what, with whom, when and why.


  1. The picture will emerge, indeed. You were a practising lawyer, Glenn. Consider the position of Janice Payne, senior partner of the Nelligan firm, who acted for Duffy. Did Wright issue a cheque to Duffy? Apparently not. It is now said to have been a bank draft "made out to Duffy's lawyer." That could then only have been negotiated through the firm's trust account. What happened next is unclear. Did Nelligan cut a cheque to the Receiver General or did it remit the funds directly to Duffy? Was this transaction structured to launder the identity of Nigel Wright from the flow of funds?

    If you were Duffy's counsel would you even touch Wright's cheque? I wouldn't. And they can't claim privilege to conceal how they handled the payment if it was illegal, especially if it contravened the Criminal Code.

  2. Nigel Wright is the key, it seems to me.

    He is the one that Duffy claimed, in his email, was working on a scenario that would allow Duffy to settle the expenses problem, including, as the RCMP affidavit puts it, "the cash for repayment".

    The RCMP has already had discussions with Wright's lawyers, who provided them with the details set out in the RSMP affidavit. The affidavit clearly states that the RCMP had not at the time of the swearing of the affidavit decided what to do about Wright's involvement.

    No doubt the RCMP will be exploring all the details of the "scenario" that Wright decided upon, with Wright and Wright's lawyers.

    Those details will include: Exactly what happened? When, where and why did Wright decide to inject himself into the Duffy expenses problem? When and from whom did Wright find out about the apparent decision of the Conservative Party to pay up to $30,000 or so of Duffy's expenses? When and how did Wright find out that the expenses totalled more than $30,000, and so the CPC fund was not going to pay them?

    What exactly did Wright discuss with the 4 people he named via his lawyers? Were these discussions one-on-one, or as a group? What did the others say during the discussions?

    And, of course, what made the Senators decide to withdraw the paragraphs from the revised Duffy documents. Who said what to whom about those paragraphs? The publicly reported information about this aspect is still very unclear.

    This thing has so many loose ends that a great deal of ground remains to be covered by the RCMP, and by journalists.


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