Expert: Harper Trapped in Political, Legal Pressure in Wright Case

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

Commenting on the scandal encompassing Duffy’s inappropriate Senate spending repayment and Nigel Wright’s involvement in it along with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former parliamentary law clerk Rob Walsh alleged that the Prime Minister is trapped in between legal pressure on one side and political pressure on the other.

The court documents filed in Ottawa last week, portray that RCMP Cpl. Greg Horton has alleged to have found reasonable grounds to believe that Nigel Wright violated Section 121(1)(b) of the criminal code when he paid $90,000 of his own money to Senator Mike Duffy. It was highlighted that the said section, entitled “Frauds on the government,” makes it against the law if anyone dealing with the government from making a payment to a government official “unless the person has the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government with which the dealings take place.” According to Walsh, this implies that Wright may be headed to prison, along with two lawyers facing sanction from their law societies because they knew about it.

However, Walsh pointed out that this could all be prevent if Harper says that he knew about the deal, but “he can’t say that” because than “he would then be publicly responsible for the shenanigans that were going on. That’s a political problem for him. Now, legally if he were to say that, these guys get off. If Harper knew what was going on, that removes the criminality.” Walsh believes that this enormity has restrained Harper to openly discuss what he knows about the deal.

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