Friday, November 04, 2005

FAQ 4b. Who initiated the discussions?

One question that got much play early-on in the Grewal affair was who approached whom. Did Grewal approach the Liberals? or did the Liberals approach him? For the importance of this question to the Liberals and Conservatives, see here.

Grewal insisted that the Liberals approached him: in his news conference of May 18th (a transcript of which I've prepared here, where he first revealed that these negotiations had taken place and that he had taped them:
I responded to Mr. Dosanjh's invitation and entered these discussions to determine the level to which the Liberal party and Paul Martin were willing to sink to save their government.
By the following morning (19th), Grewal had clarified this. When asked in his Canada AM interview with Beverley Thomson (transcript here) whether the first phone call had come from Murphy, Grewal answered "No, it was through a common friend".

That friend, Sadesh Kalia (on whom, see here), came forward later that same day and identified himself, contradicting Grewal and insisting that Grewal had asked him to contact the Liberals on his behalf. Two weeks later, however, two associates of Kalia came forward and reported that he had told them that the Liberals wanted to entice a Conservative to change parties (see here).

The tapes themselves may be of some helpf. At one point, while Murphy was instructing Grewal that if he should cross, both sides would deny making the initial approach, assigning responsibility to the intermediary: "So you didn't approach, we didn't approach", to which Grewal responds "Uh, they approached me" (p. 7). But even if Grewal is making the claim that the Liberals had made the initial approach, that would not be decisive, since Grewal knows that he is taping the conversation.

There are points in the conversation where Grewal and Dosanjh seem to assume that Grewal had been the initiator (see here).



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