Sunday, July 31, 2005

Buckets was right: Harper told Grewal to stop taping on the morning of the 17th

Update: Actually, Buckets was wrong. Harper was incorrect when he said that he told Grewal on the 17th to stop taping. It was the 18th. (See here).

Hi all. You may have noticed my long post yesterday here, in which I deduced that Grewal's offer to Harper to tape the Prime Minister must have been made before his conversation with Dosanjh and Murphy since it is relatively clear from that recording that Grewal expected to speak to Martin at the beginning of the conversation, but that this possibility had become remote by its end.

Looking through old material I found Harper's original statement to the media about what and when he learned about the tapes. His comments of June 1 (the day after the Conservatives had released the edited version of the tapes) were rebroadcast on the CBC radio show, the Current the next day. (The episode page, with a link to the audio, is here; a direct link to the audio here). This is Harper's statement from 5'29 of that clip
Harper: Gurmant approached me at our caucus meeting on Monday, May the 16th, and told me—it was just the end of the meeting--he had something important to tell me about his discussions with the Liberals. I didn’t have time to talk to him then because I was on the way to the airport. I said I’d call him the next morning. And at that point he told me that, uh, he had the option of meeting that evening with—he and Nina--of meeting that evening with the Prime Minister to discuss Liberal offers. Mr. Grewal, Gurmant, said to me in his conversation, when he told me that he taped these, uh, conversations, he said to me that, uh, he had the option of meeting that evening with the Prime Minister. And, I think, the tapes make clear that that offer was on the table, even though the Prime Minister said that’s not the case. I think it’s up now to the Prime Minister to come clean on that or explain why he hasn’t been telling the truth on that. But I believe that and I’ll just mention one other thing, Gurmant did ask me if I wanted him to meet with the Prime Minister and I said no. Thanks.
This clears up the question of whether Grewal had spoken to him on the 16th or 17th that we we raised yesterday (here). They spoke, it seems, on both the 16th and the morning of the 17th, though to judge from Harper's description of the exchange, the discussion on the 16th was very fleeting.

This means, however, that Harper's instruction to Grewal to stop taping came before he had made any of the tapes of his conversations with Dosanjh and Murphy.

(It probably also means that Grewal misled Harper: it is clear that he did not yet have a firm date to meet with Paul Martin, as becomes clear from the conversation with Dosanjh and Murphy.)

[edited slightly for clarity]

3 Comments:

Blogger Mark Francis said...

So...

Was Grewal always mounting a sting, or did he just change his mind at some point?

A cynic (what, me?) could try to argue that Grewal was playing both sides...

10:06 PM  
Blogger Noel M said...

Yes, I believe he was looking to "sell" his vote and his wife's vote in exchange for Liberal favours, but when Stronach beat him to it, he decided to change tactics and try to win favour with the CPC party and "punish" the Liberals by trying to pass it off as a "sting" operation. I think it was this quick change in strategy, with little time for planning, that led to the hasty "editing" of the transcripts and, ultimately, his undoing.

His long history of misrepresentation of facts, when it comes to his career, leaves one with the sense that he is not above telling a few "white lies" to further it.

I also wonder what he may have on Harper, in the way of taped conversations, that has secured his loyalty and defense of Grewal.

Of course, I could be just a little bit cynical...

11:02 AM  
Blogger Right Ho said...

Buckets -- Thanks for the update. Your point is a valid one, and should be discussed further. For my part, I will add something to my own blog (plus a link) tomorrow.

4:50 PM  

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