The prosecution and defence have finished the heavy stuff. All that's left for them to do is the closing arguments. So what have we learned from the Duffy trial? Michael Harris writes:
Lots of public figures are symbolically burned in public. But not many are hoisted in effigy in the nation’s capital as money-grubbing scoundrels floating high above the Ottawa River like evil genies.
Not many are denounced by their own boss and his stooges before their day in court. Not many face guilt by editorial before the allegations against them have been tested in court.
The exercise was all about throwing Mike Duffy under the bus with more than the usual flourish:
Harper’s animus against Duffy is easy to understand; the former PM didn’t like anyone in particular, except the guy in the shaving mirror, and Duffy had committed the high-crime of temporary insubordination.
But what's really troubling is the number of people who walked away unscathed:
Why wasn’t Ray Novak there to explain why both he and Nigel Wright advised Senator Duffy not to co-operate with the Deloitte audit? And why did the Senate shut Duffy down when he wanted to go before the Senate audit committee or the Deloitte auditors to answer their questions and provide documentation?
What was Senator David Tkachuk thinking when he leaked information out of the Senate’s forensic audit to people who were being scrutinized? On April 16, 2013 Tkachuk told Duffy that auditors had discovered per diem claims for a ten-day period while the P.E.I. senator was on a cruise in Florida. The Deloitte audit itself was not officially released until 13 days later on April 29, 2013. Tkachuk was co-chair of the Internal Economy Board.
Finally, what business did Harper’s PMO have ordering and getting the removal of certain paragraphs from a Senate report? Here is how former Senate Clerk Gary O’Brien put it to the RCMP: “… Obviously it was, that was a political decision, that’s a political decision.” As for the PMO’s advice to Duffy to not co-operate with Deloitte, O’Brien found that to be “inappropriate” — and why wouldn’t he?
Regardless of your opinion of Duffy, the trial had nothing to do with Justice.