My previous take on Schreiber's appearance before the Commons ethics committee Thursday does not adequately convey the full weirdness of the event. Among the many magic moments:
– the chairman, Paul Szabo, beginning the proceedings, then stopping — “I almost forgot” — to swear the witness in.
– Schreiber acted as the middleman between Airbus/MBB/Thyssen and Government Consultants International, collecting and distributing millions of dollars in secret commissions, “to organize the things and to watch the funds flow because we had somebody who stole the money.” Wha??
– Schreiber donated $10,000 to the Liberal party shortly before the 1993 election, but hasn't “the smallest clue” why.
– John Crosbie, the former Conservative Transport minister, conducted an inquiry into the Airbus contract when concerns first surfaced in the late 1980s. Schreiber says he did not interview him. (Mind you, Crosbie says the RCMP never interviewed him. Curiouser and curiouser.)
– Asked why he paid Mulroney in cash, Schreiber replied: “because it was available.” Shades of Willie Sutton!
– Schreiber was once a judge. For nine years. Or so he maintained, twice, before the committee. When? Where? How much did he pay for it?