Mulroney – Schreiber

Written by  //  June 2, 2010  //  Canada, Politics  //  Comments Off on Mulroney – Schreiber

Schreiber-Mulroney affair: the main players and for real junkies, the CBC offers an interesting backgrounder Parsing the Harper-Mulroney connection
Timeline of the Mulroney-Schreiber affair ; The Fifth Estate on Mulroney and Schreiber ; Andrew Coyne’s blog which neatly (somewhat viciously) recaps the inquiry and much of the history of the sordid affair ; Globe & Mail files ; Macleans on the Oliphant Inquiry

2 June
Mulroney legacy takes another hit
(Montreal Gazette) ‘Inappropriate’; The stain left by Schreiber case hardest to clean
About the only bright spot for Mulroney in the report is its finding that he did nothing wrong with respect to the payments at issue while he was still prime minister, although he did accept the first of the bulging cash-stuffed envelopes from Schreiber while still an MP. Otherwise, he [Oliphant] judged that Mulroney’s transactions with Schreiber violated just about every principle of how honest folk do business and that in effect – though again he doesn’t use the word – Mulroney gave deceitful testimony in a court case about his relationship with Schreiber.
1 June
Mulroney’s actions ‘inappropriate,’ Oliphant says
(Globe & Mail) Ottawa should recoup $2.1-million from former prime minister’s lawyers and public-relations team in 1997 settlement, opposition says
Full Pundit: Beware Germans bearing gifts Oh, Mr. Mulroney. How could you?
All seem to agree on some basic facts: The Oliphant Inquiry has cemented in history the already manifest disreputableness of Brian Mulroney’s conduct with regards to his, ahem, dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber, but also leaves an awful lot of questions unanswered — such as why did Mr. Schreiber keep giving Mr. Mulroney all those thousand-dollar bills if he wasn’t doing anything?
And, most intriguingly, as the Halifax Chronicle-Herald’s Stephen Maher puts it, “what happened to the $25 million that Schreiber received in secret commissions on Air Canada’s $1.4-billion purchase of 34 airplanes in 1988”? Alas, in Maher’s opinion, if we don’t know by now, we probably never will. William Johnson, writing in the Ottawa Citizen, concurs — but does at least find in Justice Oliphant’s report a usefully “coherent image [of] a leader of Canada who chose to wallow in sleaze.” Indeed, it’s downright impossible, John Geddes observes on his Maclean’s blog, to read the report and maintain any sympathy for the former prime minister “as a man long besieged.”
The National Post’s John Ivison thinks Canadian “democracy has been devalued” by this whole ordeal, and that Canadians will now think even less of their elected officials. We have to believe that 95% of that damage was already done, but it sure won’t help. The Globe and Mail’s editorialists endorse Justice Oliphant’s recommendation to bring former politicians under the ethics commissioner’s purview, but doubt there’s any need to implement his recommendation that public office-holders undergo “ethics training.” Surely, they say, this spectacle has driven home the appropriate message. And surely, we’d add, everyone already knows it’s unethical to associate with oleaginous hucksters and not to declare any income derived from them to the taxman.
The Edmonton Journal’s editorialists rather limply ask that we “remember that free trade, the battle against apartheid and even the tax streamlining of the GST are accomplishments that will and should outshine and outlast the ethical weaknesses detailed this week.” Right sentiment; wrong day.
If there’s ever yet another inquiry into this matter, the Globe’s Jeffrey Simpson suggests it be into how Mr. Schreiber “turned the Canadian judicial system into a laughingstock.” Yessiree, Bob. And that’s enough of that.
31 May
At Issue: All About the Oliphant Report
30 May
Mulroney-Schreiber affair ends, still unclear
(Toronto Sun) Brian Mulroney will endure one last humiliation on Monday in the tawdry tale of his dealings with shady German-Canadian arms lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber.
But the former prime minister won’t waste any time trying to rehabilitate his tarnished reputation following release of the Oliphant inquiry’s final report into the seamy saga of cash-stuffed envelopes surreptitiously exchanged in hotel rooms.
Within hours, he’ll be making a show of putting it all behind him at a sold-out Toronto fund-raising event, basking in company considerably more respectable than that of Schreiber, who was recently convicted of tax evasion and now faces eight years in a German prison.
Mulroney is to moderate a panel discussion Monday evening on freedom of speech featuring Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel and internationally acclaimed novelist Salman Rushdie.
23 May
Conrad Black: Oliphant/Mulroney is nothing like Frost/Nixon
It is scandalous that Brian Mulroney is still being harassed over these accusations, 17 years after leaving office. He has acknowledged that it was not an image-building act to accept suitcases of cash, and to be late declaring them on his income tax return. But he had left office and there has never been any evidence that he did anything inappropriate to promote the unlikely “Bear Head” project being championed by his financial benefactor, Karlheinz Schreiber.
The Canadian government should not have been manipulated into public hearings by an amiable scoundrel like Schreiber, and Stephen Harper should not have alienated the sizeable number of Conservatives who support and admire the former leader.
22 May
Inquiry findings hang heavy over the life and times of Brian Mulroney
(Montreal Gazette) Most people care what others think about them. By many accounts, Brian Mulroney cares more than most.
That’s the Mulroney clay foot,” says historian Norman Hillmer [co-author with Jack Granatstein of Prime Ministers: Ranking Canada’s Leaders]. His anxiousness to please makes him vulnerable. He can’t help rationalizing, explaining and justifying himself.”
Hillmer and Granatstein retold the story in separate interviews as they discussed the impact Judge Jeffrey Oliphant’s report on Mulroney’s once-secret cash dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber could have on his legacy.
15 May
Oliphant report could set Mulroney’s place in history
(Montreal Gazette) Suspense revolves almost exclusively around what Oliphant will say about Mulroney’s behaviour. After all, by the time the report is made public, Schreiber will be several weeks into his eight-year prison sentence in Germany for tax evasion.
5 May
Tasha Kheiriddin: Karlheinz Schreiber gets his due
Vindication can be a long time coming. But for Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, it must be sweet to see his nemesis, Karlheinz Schreiber, finally getting what he deserves.
A German court has sentenced Mr. Schreiber to 8 years in prison for tax evasion, for failing to pay 7.3 million euros on undeclared commission income from aircraft and arms sales. Considering his age – 76 – and state of health, Mr. Schreiber may well spend the rest of his life in prison.
3 August 2009
Hallelujah! Extradé du Canada, Karlheinz Schreiber est emprisonné en Allemagne — the German-Canadian has made 11 submissions to the minister of justice, five applications for judicial review at the Ontario Court of Appeal, and sought leave to the Supreme Court on four occasions – all of which have been denied but had the effect of extending his stay.
2 August
Schreiber gets hearing in last-ditch fight against extradition Oh, PLEASE. Send him back to Germany. No more appeals.
22 May
Lorne Gunter: Silencing Mulroney is money well spent
(National Post) … if Justice Oliphant’s inquiry finally convinces Mr. Mulroney to cease his vain efforts to have the rest of us buy into his self-delusion that he has “never knowingly done anything wrong in my entire life” — if it convinces him to keep quiet for the rest of his days — then the money will be worth it.
Letter to the editor
David Hutton, executive director, FAIR (Federal Accountability Initiative for Reform
Many Canadians are justifiably outraged to learn that not only are we paying for a public inquiry into Brian Mulroney’s suspicious behaviour, but we are also paying his enormous legal fees. However, this situation is not unusual. Treasury Board policies permitting such payments are routinely extended to those accused of wrongdoing, but are rarely — if ever — extended to public servants trying to protect the public interest by exposing wrongdoing.
21 May
This comment from the Macleans’s Liveblog sums up our feelings:

Mulroney wanted this enquiry. At the end of his testimony, he stated that he was fairly treated, and then he announced that taxpayers would be paying for his ride to the tune of $2 million plus. Two of the six days he spent on the stand was a walkabout with his own attorney. So much of the other 4 days was unrestricted walkabout that it took twice as long as it should have. To add insult to injury, we learned at this late date that ten years ago, six years after he received the money, he was somehow able to pay tax on only half of the money he ‘earned’. So, he took Schreiber’s money and now he’s taking ours…again, and again, and again. There’s a word for an organism that returns again and again to suck the life from the same host – parasite.

Stephen Maher: Sometimes you just have to be a skeptic
(Chronicle Herald) Until Tuesday, a lot of Mr. Mulroney’s testimony was hard to swallow. It seemed unlikely, for example, that he left all this cash in his safe for six years instead of spending it, say, on the expensive renovations to his Westmount mansion. Nonetheless, this was a former prime minister’s version of events, and it was necessary to entertain the possibility that he was telling the truth. After Tuesday, there is more reason to be skeptical  … Because on Tuesday, boxed in by the patient questioning of commission counsel Richard Wolson, Mr. Mulroney repeatedly contradicted the testimony of William Kaplan, the Toronto lawyer who wrote a book exonerating Mr. Mulroney — before he learned about the cash payments.
20 May
Taxpayers covering Mulroney’s $2M legal tab
( News Staff) Taxpayers will cover $2 million-worth of the legal tab that Brian Mulroney has accumulated during proceedings at the Oliphant inquiry, according to The Canadian Press. The costs are in addition to the previously reported $14-million budget for the inquiry into the former prime minister’s business dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber. It was believed that Mulroney was going to cover his own legal costs because he didn’t apply for any public funding in advance of the probe. However, since Mulroney is a member of the Privy Council, he didn’t need to apply for funding.
John Ivison: Mulroney leaves us wondering
Brian Mulroney spent most of yesterday looking like he was sitting on a thistle. His final full day of cross-examination was one of extreme discomfort, as Oliphant Commission counsel, Richard Wolson, laid bare the many inconsistencies in his version of events. It was only when Mr. Wolson revealed he was almost done that the former prime minister recovered some of his vim and treated the country to a slice of vintage Mulroney blarney. “After 21 years of inquiries and millions of dollars have been spent … nothing has been found. And nothing will be found because I have never in my life knowingly done anything wrong.” Since neither Gandhi nor Mother Teresa would likely have made that claim, it could be dismissed as an irrational exuberance were it not for the fact he said it three times.
19 May
Mulroney can’t explain tax break on half of Schreiber cash
OTTAWA — Brian Mulroney was required to pay income tax on only half of the $225,000 in cash he accepted from lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber, thanks to a “pretty good deal” offered to the former prime minister by Canada Revenue Agency.
16 May
John Ivison: Central fact shines through obfuscations
Everything about his behaviour at the time screams out that he knew this was, at best, conduct unbecoming a former prime minister. Yet, he has been dogged over the last few days in asserting that he committed little more than a bookkeeping error, which, one supposes, just goes to prove Samuel Johnson’s point that stubborn audacity is the last refuge of guilt.
The Mulroney show: Canadians are reminded why they dislike him so much
By Don MacPherson
And so it continues, the public self-destruction of the tragic figure that Mulroney has become. He asked at one point for the current inquiry to be held, giving him in his twilight years one last opportunity to inflict further damage on his own reputation in the eyes of his Canadian contemporaries.
Would have done things by the book if he had the ‘staff,’ ex-PM says
(Globe & Mail) Brian Mulroney never asked Karlheinz Schreiber for any money, but when it came — in the form of three cash installments — he didn’t treat it like the rest of his revenue because he had no “support staff,” the former prime minister testified yesterday. One wonders how he treated the rest of his revenue – without support staff.
Brian’s Song: Day Four

Andrew Coyne
Is it possible Brian Mulroney is just making it up as he goes along? I know we were all told how well prepared he was for cross-examination, but the more he fleshes out the details under questioning, the more bizarre his already fantastic story becomes. Yesterday he told the Oliphant inquiry three extraordinary things we hadn’t heard before.
14 May
Schreiber lobbied like ‘Energizer bunny,’ Mulroney says
Under cross examination, former prime minister offers alternative theory on staying power of arms-plant proposal
(CBC) Lawyer challenges Mulroney’s 1996 testimony during Airbus lawsuit Conservative (Mulroney) supporters are now rallying to the NP’s pages to counter the disbelievers who expressed themselves yesterday.  However, this post following John Ivison’s column: Mulroney takes on the ‘Mulroney-haters pretty well sums up the points that are bothering many of us.
I would like answers to the following simple questions:
1) was the relationship between Mulroney and Schreiber solicitor-client or lobbyist-client?
a) if the former, is Mr. Schreiber prepared to waive privilege?
b) did Mr. Mulroney declare to the bar the rather large sums of client property/retainer that he was holding in the years after he had received it and before he decided that he had performed the necessary services to treat it as income, and
c)how were those services documented to the client who had received them?
3) if the latter, what measures were taken to document the scope of the retainer to avoid obvious problems of apparent conflict-of-interest, lobbyist registration legislation, etc.? What bills were rendered, and when?
What screams from this whole sad tale is the total absence of documentation of the core transaction. This from a man who is a lawyer and was a corporate president before he was PM.
12 May
Mulroney rejects suggestion he would have violated lobbying rules
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney told a federal inquiry Tuesday that sales brochures for UN peacekeeping vehicles support his claim that his business dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber were for international work, adding he would never violate domestic lobby rules that he himself brought in. [Note: the comments – numerous – are not always grammatical, but they are scathing. It would seem that the Canadian public is convinced that whatever the outcome of the Inquiry, the former PM has done himself no service, coming across as at best incredibly stupid and venal, at worst a not particularly skillful, but committed liar.]
30 April
Number of meetings between Mulroney, Schreiber unusual: former aide
The former chief of staff to Brian Mulroney testified at a federal inquiry Thursday that the number of meetings the former prime minister had with Karlheinz Schreiber was unusually high.
18 April
Suit is delaying tactic: lawyer
Schreiber accused of launching action against ex-PM to avoid deportation
The lawyer representing Brian Mulroney accused Karlheinz Schreiber yesterday of launching a lawsuit against the former prime minister as a tactic to delay his own extradition to Germany on charges of tax evasion, bribery and fraud. This is hardly a revelation – it’s what everyone, including the media have been saying all along. When will everyone get real and throw the case out?
11 April
The Tory feud
Don MacPherson: Ignatieff hopes to exploit Conservative divisions over former prime minister Mulroney
For the first time, Harper’s control of his caucus appeared to be slipping. It was a sign that his authority had suffered from his failure to deliver a majority in last October’s general election and the politically near-fatal economic statement his government presented in November.
9 April
MacKay asks Tory boss to clarify Mulroney’s status
A senior cabinet minister has pleaded with the president of the Conservative party to make peace with former prime minister Brian Mulroney — and been rebuffed, sources say. The response to MacKay’s request illustrates the rift created last week when the party announced Mulroney had allowed his membership to lapse and was no longer a Tory. Sources confirmed the conversation took place Wednesday — the same day as a restless caucus meeting where Conservative MPs and senators bickered behind closed doors about Mulroney’s treatment.
8 April
It may not be wise to try Mulroney’s patience and it may be very, very bad for the Party
… as the inquiry got underway, word came from Harper’s office that Mulroney is no longer a member of the Conservative Party.
31 March
Mulroney’s status as Conservative party member questioned
Simmering tensions between Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government and predecessor Brian Mulroney are boiling over, with party sources saying Mulroney is no longer a Conservative and the ex-leader insisting he will be a party member as long as he draws breath.
27 March
Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry set to begin Monday
More than a year after the government announced its intention to hold a full judicial inquiry into the Mulroney/Schreiber affair, the first round of public hearings are slated to get underway next week. On Monday, the Oliphant Commission hears from two former cabinet ministers—Progressive Conservative Bill McKnight, who served as Mulroney’s energy minister, and Liberal Marc Lalonde, who worked for Karlheinz Schreiber as a “lawyer and lobbyist.” The Commission will also hear from former Mulroney chief of staff Derek Burney and Elizabeth “Beth” Moores, who was married to the late Frank Moores. The first witnesses were announced at a special hearing on Thursday, during which the judge bowed to Mulroney’s request for “clarification” on his ruling on standards of conduct by reassuring Mulroney’s legal team that he has “no intention of prying into the private affairs of the former prime minister.”
18 March 2009
This has become tedious!
Mulroney seeks to delay inquiry into relationship with Schreiber
For more than six months, the inquiry’s team of lawyers and junior counsel have been wading through documents and conducting behind-the-scenes interviews with those who were close to the decades-old affair in anticipation of the start date at the end of the month.
25 February
And now, almost a year later:
Mulroney will face ‘closest possible scrutiny,’ inquiry chair says
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney lost a bid to narrow the scope of an upcoming public inquiry into his conduct yesterday after the inquiry chair ruled that his decision to accept cash payments shortly after leaving office should “bear the closest possible scrutiny.” The judge also pointed out that in 1988 Mr. Mulroney distributed a document to his cabinet titled Guidance For Ministers that warned them they had an obligation to go further than “simply to observe the law.” Yesterday, Judge Oliphant ruled: “If the Prime Minister intended to hold ministers personally accountable to that level, then it follows that he himself would be accountable on the same basis.”
21 March 2008
Terms of Mulroney inquiry must be set by April 4
(CBC News) The Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry came one step closer to reality on Thursday, when the Prime Minister’s Office announced that a special adviser has until April 4 to set the parameters for the hearings.
David Johnston, the president of the University of Waterloo, has been asked to establish an inquiry mandate based on the recent investigation conducted by the Commons ethics committee, as well as a preliminary report Johnston has already prepared on the matter.
February 28
Mulroney would co-operate with public inquiry, lawyer says
OTTAWA – Brian Mulroney won’t appear again before a parliamentary committee inquiry into his dealings with businessman Karlheinz Schreiber and doesn’t want a public inquiry, but he would “co-operate fully” with an inquiry if he were called to testify, the senior counsel to the former prime minister said today.
February 26
(CBC) Mulroney refuses to appear before ethics committee
Brian Mulroney has refused to appear before the Commons ethics committee for a second day of testimony into his business dealings with Karlheinz Schreiber.
The former prime minister announced his decision on his personal website on Tuesday, but gave no details about why he would not oblige the committee’s request for further testimony.
February 25
(Toronto Star) Mulroney lied, Schreiber testifies
(THE CANADIAN PRESS) OTTAWA–Karlheinz Schreiber says Brian Mulroney’s December appearance at the Commons ethics committee was nothing more than a “smoke-and-mirror show.” A feisty Schreiber told the committee today that the former prime minister lied Dec. 3 when he testified that Schreiber had misled the committee.
Mulroney questions need for public inquiry into Schreiber affair

OTTAWA – Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is questioning the need for a public inquiry into his cash dealings with businessman Karlheinz Schreiber, saying no new evidence has been revealed during sessions into the affair by the House of Commons ethics committee.
February 14
Swiss bank accounts were for Mulroney and Moores, Schreiber accountant says

OTTAWA — Karlheinz Schreiber’s former accountant says he was present in 1986 when bank accounts were opened in Switzerland which he was told were being set up to eventually receive Airbus commissions intended for Brian Mulroney and Frank Moores, a parliamentary committee was told today.
Giorgio Pelossi testified by teleconference from Europe to the Commons ethics committee, saying he knows now that the Airbus commission money, which was estimated at about $20-million, was never funnelled to the Swiss accounts.
February 7, 2008
Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney didn’t tell his trusted spokesman and long-time adviser about cash payments he had received from arms lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber until more than six years after the fact
, Luc Lavoie says.
Mr. Lavoie told the House of Commons ethics committee Thursday that he first learned in 2000 – through Mr. Mulroney’s lawyer – about three cash payments his client had received in 1993 and 1994 as a “retainer” from Mr. Schreiber. Mr. Lavoie said he was told the payments were worth “tens of thousands,” but did not know the total amount and did not ask. He said he didn’t learn the payments were in $1,000 bills and kept by Mr. Mulroney in a safe or safety deposit box until Mr. Mulroney’s testimony before the committee in December. More
Spector fails to live up to advance billing

The former bureaucrat hinted he had a smoking gun in the Mulroney affair, but it turned out to be a dud
As he had hinted he would, Norman Spector brought a smoking gun to the Commons ethics committee this week. Only it turned out to be a theatrical prop that produces a flash and a loud noise but fires only blanks.
Brian Mulroney’s former chief of staff had practically asked to be invited to appear before the committee, where his testimony would be immune from any lawsuit by Mulroney, to tell what he knew about the former prime minister’s conduct while in office.
Then, after he received his invitation, he dropped hints that he would show that Mulroney’s acceptance of large cash payments from businessman Karlheinz Schreiber after he was no longer prime minister was not the isolated “error in judgment” Mulroney had implied.
25 January 2008
The mobbing of Brian Mulroney
Mr. Mulroney has been investigated for at least 15 years by the RCMP; by an author with an apparent axe to grind; by the CBC and other media; and now by a Parliamentary ethics committee looking into his dealings with shadowy German businessman Karlheinz Schreiber. In a few months, a public inquiry will be launched by the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper into Mr. Mulroney’s conduct, mostly after he left office and became a private citizen. None of these inquisitors has ever found evidence of a crime, and there is no indication there is any to be found. Yet the witch hunt goes on.
Former Mulroney chief of staff to tell MPs about cash at 24 Sussex Drive
OTTAWA – A fresh allegation that large amounts of cash arrived at 24 Sussex Drive while Brian Mulroney was prime minister is setting the stage for a stormy return of the Commons ethics committee next week. MPs on the committee are looking into the relationship between the former Tory prime minister and German-Canadian arms lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber, who paid Mulroney three cash instalments shortly after he left office totalling at least $225,000.
The money – Schreiber says it was $300,000 – apparently related to lobbying work for a light-armoured vehicle maker, possibly for a Canadian manufacturing plant known as the Bear Head project.
But Norman Spector, a former chief of staff to Mulroney in the early 1990s, says he’ll be bringing documented evidence to Parliament Hill of other cash transactions.
19 January
Schreiber, Mulroney criticized for not providing requested documents

Jack Aubry, Canwest News Service
OTTAWA — The House of Commons ethics committee, which is holding hearings into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair, has been frustrated in its on-going pursuit of documents from the former prime minister and the Canadian-German arms dealer.


20 December
(RCI) Ontario Superior Court has dismissed a lawsuit against Brian Mulroney brought by his former business associate, German-Canadian arms lobbyist Karlheinz Schreiber. The court ruled that it had no jurisdiction in the matter and that the allegations which Mr. Schreiber had made were not connected to Ontario. The lobbyist sued Mr. Mulroney for $300,000 plus interest. He claims to have paid the money to Mr. Mulroney in 1993 and 1994 to help him to win a contract to build an arms factory in Quebec and a pasta business in Ontario. Mr. Schreiber claimed that Mr. Mulroney never fulfilled his end of the deal. The lobbyist has used the court system to evade deportation to Germany for the past eight years. He was to have finally been deported several weeks ago, but the federal government suspended the deportation to allow Mr. Schreiber to testify about his dealings with Mr. Mulroney before the House of Commons ethics committee. In another development, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he’ll leave it up to his special adviser in the Mulroney matter to decide whether a public inquiry is needed to probe the financial relationship between him and Mr. Schreiber. The prime minister called for one after he was named in one of Mr. Schreiber’s court documents. Many commentators and people asked in polls have said such an exercise would be pointless.
December 14
Ex-Premier of Canada Admits ‘Error’
OTTAWA — Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney acknowledged to a parliamentary committee on Thursday that he had accepted large cash payments from a German-Canadian arms dealer and lobbyist beginning in 1993 and that his action showed “an error in judgment.” But he strenuously denied that the action was illegal.
A parliamentary committee had summoned Mr. Mulroney, who was prime minister from 1984 to 1993, but not when the payments began, to explain what he had done in exchange for the money, which was turned over to him, in $1,000 bills in hotel rooms, by Karlheinz Schreiber, an arms dealer and lobbyist. Mr. Schreiber is fighting extradition to Germany on bribery, fraud and tax evasion charges.
“My second biggest mistake in life, for which I have no one to blame but myself, is having accepted payments in cash from Karlheinz Schreiber,” Mr. Mulroney told the House of Commons ethics committee. His biggest, he said, “was ever agreeing to be introduced to Karlheinz Schreiber in the first place.”
Comment: Mulroney’s humble witness act
OTTAWA — Libeled, blackmailed, the subject of journalistic vendettas and attempted extortion, Brian Mulroney wanted to market himself as a victim who suffered his own “near-death experience” from perennial Airbus allegations.
But he knew it wouldn’t wash in a country where Mulroney polls as Canada’s most untrustworthy former prime minister. So he went contrite for four hours as a humble witness on the Parliament Hill he ruled as prime minister for nine years.
Less than a minute into his opening address, Mulroney threw his legacy before the court of public opinion and sought forgiveness for his wrongdoings. More
Mulroney’s six-year tax gap
In a four-hour session before MPs, the former prime minister acknowledges receiving cash from Schreiber, offers explanation for delay in reporting it, attacks the deal-maker’s credibility and changes his tune on a public inquiry
December 13
In the end, nothing sticks to Mulroney
John Ivison, National Post Published: Thursday,
Schreiber allegations are ‘completely false,’ Mulroney says
The former prime minister flatly rejected claims outlined in a November affidavit filed by Schreiber that he received the money as part of a lobbying deal struck during a meeting at the prime ministerial retreat at Harrington Lake, Que., on June 23, 1993, two days before he left office. More from CBC
December 1
We predicted that his days were numbered (see below), almost to the day (24 November), it seems.
(CBC) Mulroney spokesman quits
Luc Lavoie
has stepped down as Brian Mulroney’s spokesman as the former prime minister faces allegations about his dealings with German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber.
Lavoie says he gave up the duties about a week ago, in full agreement with Mulroney, because he’s too busy to devote the time required to do the job.
November 30
It just gets murkier – and accordingly, better theatre and great material for the pundits. DTN
John Ivison, National Post
OTTAWA -Karlheinz Schreiber would have brought tears to a glass eye yesterday. Appearing in front of the House of Commons ethics committee, he lamented that English is not his mother tongue and sought sympathy from committee members because he was brought to Ottawa in handcuffs from a detention centre in Toronto.
Mr. Schreiber played the innocent abroad part with aplomb — a credulous, tongue-tied, Borattype figure who has been duped by unscrupulous forces beyond his ken. But just as Borat is not a witless Kazakh journalist (he’s played by a Cambridge-educated, Jewish comedian), so Mr. Schreiber is not the village idiot. He is a former West German intelligence operative, who has long worked in the murky world of the arms trade, and has nearly run out of road in his fight against extradition to Germany on charges of fraud, bribery and tax evasion. As with Borat, the joke is really on those who take him at face value. More
24 November
WOOPS! Seems that the spokesman mis-spoke himself — again! Luc Lavoie’s days have to be numbered….
Mulroney’s rich prospects Lucrative jobs in sight at time of cash payment
William Marsden, The Gazette
Despite Brian Mulroney’s claim that he took $300,000 cash from German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber because he had run out of money, he was about to become a very wealthy man.
Throughout his tenure as prime minister, Mulroney cultivated close friendships with top executives in Canada and the United States, as well as with such political leaders as U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his successor, George H.W. Bush.
According to sources, this assured his smooth transition into a world of wealth and privilege, where his international connections would make him a sought-after lawyer and deal-maker.
Indeed, within months of leaving office on June 25, 1993, Mulroney was welcomed onto the boards of Fortune 500 companies. As well, he quickly began earning top dollar for speaking engagements and accepted a lucrative partnership at a prominent Montreal law firm that insiders estimate pays him at least $1 million a year.

November 21 Escalation of adjectives
Brian Mulroney has realized he made a “colossal mistake” in taking $300,000 in cash from German businessman Karlheinz Schreiber when the former prime minister left political office more than a decade ago and has regretted it almost ever since, his spokesperson said yesterday. … when Mulroney left politics in 1993, he had money pressures: He was the head of a young family with certain lifestyle expectations – and “not a rich man.” [Oh, that makes it all understandable. We submit that Brian Mulroney needs a new spokesperson – after all these years, Luc Lavoie has obviously exhausted his skills. Using the word ‘silly’ was bad enough, but this explanation is calculated to infuriate everyone who has ever had money pressures, which presumably means at least 99% of the population.]
November 19
Mulroney thinks Schreiber cash deal ‘silliest thing’ ex-PM has done: spokesman
Former prime minister Brian Mulroney admits that accepting $300,000 in cash payments from German-Canadian businessman Karlheinz Schreiber was the “silliest thing” he has ever done, his spokesman said. CBC Newssilly? Is that the best he can come up with? Seems a tad cavalier to us.
November 16
We had hoped to avoid too much discussion of the current political scandal, but it is obviously going to generate considerable attention – and emotion -, so we are resigned to keeping a running commentary on it, especially now that it is attracting attention from abroad.
Haunted in Canada?

ANY whiff of corruption is so much more potent when sniffed amid air as pure as Canada’s. Few countries have such a reputation for honesty. According to Transparency International, an anti-corruption activist group, Canada is seen as one of the least venal countries on the planet, ranked ninth cleanest alongside Norway. Yet its politicians have seen accusations of skulduggery. More

Keep focus of Mulroney inquiry narrow, Rae says
COLIN FREEZE Globe and Mail
November 19, 2007
while at the same time, it is reported (in the same newspaper)
Dion presses for broader Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry
Canadian Press
November 18, 2007
OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion wants to make sure any public inquiry into Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber also takes a look at Stephen Harper. More
Hold on tight! Probe into Mulroney-Schreiber affair will be one wild ride
It’s not, Lord knows, as if David Johnston didn’t have enough to do. The president of Waterloo University was engaged in his usual routine of half a dozen tasks at once when the prime minister’s office called and asked him to take on the touchiest job in the nation – setting up an inquiry into the murky financial dealings of Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber.
All that’s involved is money, power, reputations and possible criminality. Little things like that. Following on smartly from the Gomery inquiry, it should preserve Canada’s reputation for politics-as-scandal while other democracies plod through boring debates on public policy.
Johnston will do his job briskly and well. He has spent most of the past three decades in one of the most demanding occupations in our society – university leadership. In an age when college headmen have been dropping like flies, Johnston has spent eight years taking Waterloo to prime international status, a task he took on after 15 stellar years as principal of McGill.
And those are just his day jobs. His list of boards and chairmanships is fatiguing to read. It includes a stint as chairman of his alma mater, Harvard, a singular honour for a foreigner.
More? Johnston has been a non-partisan moderator of federal election debates. He also is a genius at fundraising, distressingly cheerful day or night, and not a bad hockey player.
Simply stated, this is a Canadian straight arrow (which used to be defined as someone who’s out doing what his parents hope he’s doing). When the call came from Ottawa, he tried to beg off – “but it’s hard to say no to the prime minister.”
Footnote: I know he said this because I was there, eating mussels in a Montreal restaurant, when he returned to the table from his final cellphone chat with the PMO. More
14 November
Harper approves Mulroney inquiry
PM’s move sets stage for months of Gomery-style intrigue
OTTAWA–In a stunning turnaround, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has agreed to a public inquiry into the business dealings of Brian Mulroney, not only a former prime minister but also a close personal adviser. The inquiry could prompt months of headlines about the business dealings of Mulroney and some of his colleagues, which could prove embarrassing to members of Harper’s government who still have close ties to the former prime minister.
13 November
RCMP and public inquiry to review Mulroney-Schreiber affair
Jack Aubry, CanWest News Service
OTTAWA — The RCMP will look into fresh allegations concerning Brian Mulroney and Karlheinz Schreiber as Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a public inquiry into the controversial relationship between the former Tory prime minister and the German businessman.
Harper told the Commons Tuesday that he has agreed to an inquiry into the Mulroney-Schreiber affair that resulted in a $2.1-million libel settlement from taxpayers to Mulroney.

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