MULRONEY: DID HE TELL US ANYTHING?

Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney had two objectives in his testimony before the parliamentary ethics committee: to clear his own name and to destroy his main antagonist, Karlheinz Schreiber. It seemed to me he accomplished the second more effectively than the first.

Holding up affidavits, quoting chapter and verse of Schreiber’s own often contradictory testimony, Mulroney accused the Canadian-German of being a liar, a falsifier and a perjurer whose only objective was to avoid extradition to Germany.

On the matter of his own good name, Mulroney apologized for ever doing business with Schreiber. But under questioning from the committee’s members Mulroney left many answers dangling especially the matter of the secret payments of $225,000 which he put in safes in Montreal and New York and did not declare as taxable income until six years after he received it.

Mulroney’s explanation of the cash payments paint the picture of a former prime minister who willingly took $75,000 in cash, three times, didn’t put it in a bank, has no proof of the work he did for it and declared the money only when circumstances forced his to.

It is necessary to note that there is nothing illegal about accepting a payment in cash. Also that Brian Mulroney has not been convicted or even charged with anything.

Do you think Brian Mulroney’s appearance in Parliament helped him or hurt him?

8 Comments »

  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    If two wrongs don’t make a right, two liars don’t make a truth.

  2. 2
    John Says:

    Neil, for all of the reasons you mentioned, I think Mulroney has done absolutely nothing to clear his name by what he said. In fact, in my mind, the very fact that a multi-million dollar inquiry had to be set up before he would even say it only makes him look that much worse.

  3. 3
    Chimera Says:

    Having met the man, way back in the days when he was being seen as the savior of the country, I will say this: If you ever have occasion to shake his hand, count your fingers afterward!

  4. 4

    John:

    I agree a lot of things look bad. But it will be much more difficult to convict Mulroney of any crime.

  5. 5
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    So far, I agree, Mulroney has committed no crime, at least in the legal sense of the word. But then, justice is not synonymous with law and law and ethics live in two different worlds. In this matter no one is credible and their behaviour tarnishes just a little more, if that is at all possible, the politicians of this world.
    This presents a great danger since it will induce even more people to be cynical and be wary of our democratic ways relying on such untrustworthy people.

  6. 6
    alessandro Says:

    Hello, Neil. Could you please confirm you email address with me again? My message did not process.

  7. 7
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    I think it hurt him. Prior to his testimony, there was only the question of whether he violated U.S. law by taking over $10,000 OUT of the U.S. In his testimony yesterday, he unequivocally stated that all of the $225,000 — including the $150,000 he received in Canada — was used exclusively for expenses internationally. This is something new and a potential bombshell. That means that at least $150,000 was taken outside of Canada. How much of that went with him while travelling to the U.S. and was it in increments larger than $10,000 each time? This is significant because U.S. anti-money laundering laws prohibit taking large amounts of cash INTO the country as well as out.
    As for the 6-year wait to declare his income: I’ve been self-employed my entire adult life which requires a submission of an income statement to the IRS (or, in Canada, to Revenue Canada) each year with my income tax filing. Let me tell you how happy I would be to have a 6-year grace period to declare money I earn in any given year.

  8. 8

    Tony:

    On the matter of the $75,000 paid in New York, I believe Mulroney placed all of that in a U.S. safety deposit box and spent it in the U.S. so that it did not enter or leave the country.

    Alessandro:

    Sorry about the e-mail. Here it is neilmck@sympatico.ca


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