|Ran out of scotch so he's making a ruckus.|
In that spirit, let's take a careful look at Nigel Wright's resignation press release to see if it can shed light into this whole affair:
In light of the controversy surrounding my handling of matters involving Senator Duffy, the Prime Minister has accepted my resignation as Chief of Staff.
My actions were intended solely to secure the repayment of funds, which I considered to be in the public interest, and I accept sole responsibility. I did not advise the Prime Minister of the means by which Sen. Duffy's expenses were repaid, either before or after the fact.
I regret the impact of this matter on the Government, our Caucus, and all of my colleagues, for whom I have the highest regard. I came to Ottawa to do my part in providing good government for Canada, and that is all that I ever wanted and worked for in this role.
A statement that puts Hemingway's minimalism to shame. I've italicized a few words in the statement to show how ambiguous it makes the entire sentence. What "means" is he referring to? Is he discussing in general terms the amount of $90k+ being given to Duffy or does he refer to the method of payment (personal cheque, certified cheque, suitcase full of $100 bills)?
Also, the statement doesn't state that the Prime Minister didn't know about it, it just affirms that Nigel Wright never "advised" the Prime Minister. Quite possibly, Nigel Wright didn't have to advise the PM because he was already fully aware of the payment.
Let's backtrack to early February of this year when the Senate hired Deloitte to run an audit concerning the expenses of Senators especially concerning residency allocation funds. Mike Duffy kept hurling insults at reporters that sought clarifications over his claims that he's a PEI resident when he's lived in Ottawa for decades.
In late February, Mike Duffy made the rounds on the TV circuit and said he would pay back the money.
Then came news in April that would payback the money if it's "required".
A day later, he reveals that he repaid the money in the month of March. Now we know that Nigel Wright footed the bill. So the Prime Minister's Office met with Mike Duffy in March and worked out a deal. CTV reports that a letter of understanding was drawn up and that a deal was made to help him out with the $90k and that the Senate report would whitewash the whole affair.
Imagine an unlikely scenario where Stephen Harper is kept in the dark regarding news stories that are shaming his party. Imagine that Stephen Harper just decides that this story isn't worth his time. I can't think of one but still, let's move forward from the month of March under the guise that the Prime Minister was never made aware of this.
Remember that it was in April that Mike Duffy said he would repay the money if "required". That must have sent Nigel Wright off the deep end! Here was Mike Duffy, whose expenses were repaid by Nigel Wright, talking about not having to refund the claimed expenses.
Of course, this was a leading story on Global News as they broke the story in April. Nigel Wright must have been livid while the Prime Minister must have been irritated to see Mike Duffy embarrass them again. The next day, they must have discussed something!
The most likely scenario is that they didn't have to because they both knew exactly what was going on. But even if he didn't in March, he had to know come April.
And the reason Stephen Harper didn't want to see Nigel Wright resign is that if he were to acknowledge that his Chief of Staff broke ethical rules and was in the right to resign, then what would be the ethical course of action for a Prime Minister who's whitewashing the allegedly illegal conduct of a senator who's ripping off taxpayers?