I’m no lawyer but every time Mulroney opens his mouth a new story seems to emerges. This can’t be good news for him.
For instance, according to the Globe and Mail, Mulroney testified that:
“…he used the cash (given to him by Mr. Screiber) to cover expenses for international travel on behalf of Mr. Schreiber and German manufacturer Thyssen AG, which he said hired him to pitch its light-armoured tanks to major heads of state.”
But a few months ago, he was claiming that the money was given to him to promote Mr. Schreiber’s pasta business.
In another instance:
“Mr. Mulroney said he was under no legal obligation to reveal the cash payments during sworn testimony in a 1996 defamation suit against Ottawa, and that he paid taxes on the funds after Mr. Schreiber was charged in 1999 to “clean” his files.”
So even though that investigation was seeking to determine if Mulroney had received money from Mr. Screiber, Mulroney didn’t feel it necessary to share this information? I suspect the public is going to start demanding that Mulroney pay back the $2.1 Million the government paid hims as part of his defamation suit. Clearly money did exchanged hands under dubious circumstances and the RCMP was quite right to investigate. The fact that they may have charged him with the wrong crime seems a lot less problematic now that we know manila envelops full of cash were going back and forth.
Indeed, what makes matters worse is that Mulroney only decided to declare the income after Schreiber was arrested for tax evasion. Mulroney likely knew that all of Screiber’s financial transactions would be scrutinized and that his own misdeeds would come to light. This, and not some new found guilt, appears to have motivated Mulroney.
Ultimately, Mulroney’s case before the Ethics Committee seemed to rest on the strategy of “you can trust me more than you can trust Schreiber.” It is true that given is pending deportation, Schreiber has every reason to lie. But given that Mulroney now has a proven track record of misleading the public, he is no more trustworthy. Arguing “he lies more!” doesn’t have the same ring as “he lies and I don’t.”
Consequently, if this is his best defense it is a desperate one. I very much doubt that, as he requested, the matter will be closed. The final decline of Mulroney may have just begun.