Liveblog: Mulroney at Oliphant (Day Four) - Cross Examination (Day Two)

More questions for Mulroney on those three key meetings

Is it just ITQ, or does this week not feel like someone snuck in a few extra days somewhere in the middle? A conspiracy of calendographers? Someone should totally investigate that.

Anyway, the former prime minister is set to undergo another few rounds of pointed questioning  courtesy of commission counsel Richard Wolson,  who may or may not wrap up his cross-examination before noon. We’re not sure whether there will be additional questions from the lawyers for the other parties — well, other than Schreiber, of course, but at the moment, that’s not scheduled to get going until next week — so it may be a short day over at Old City Hall. Then again, considering how much ground is left, at least in theory, for Wolson to explore, that may be an overly optimistic estimate of when ITQ will finally be able to holster the berry and hit the nearest patio to start the Victoria Day weekend off in the traditional manner.

Oh, and I hope that L. Ian MacDonald isn’t putting too much weight on his theory that the chilliness in the Victoria Room is somehow indicative of warm and friendly relations between his former boss and the commission staff, as he seems to suggest in this column, because ITQ can tell y’all that the air conditioning has been at full throttle for weeks after a weird one-day heat wave back in April — check the section of the transcript from just after the lunch recess —  and as far as she knows, has absolutely nothing to do with any request made by Team Mulronigator.

9:11:27 AM
Good morning, Oliphantabulists!

Before we get started, I’d like to throw a question out there, just for fun: What do we — the ITQ/Oliphant comment crew, that is — think of a media relations strategy that involves stalking the press table with a phonecam, surreptitiously taking pictures of reporters at work? Good idea, or something PMO would reject as being too heavy-handed and confrontational? All opinions welcome! Feel free to mull that over while we wait for today’s session to begin.

9:28:15 AM
The right honourable witness has taken the stand – well, he’s standing behind the chair in what has become his traditonal pre-hearing pose, but he’s here, anyway, sporting a progressively conservative navy blue tie and an expression that could almost be described as ebullient. Why is this former prime minister smiling? Darned if ITQ knows, but I guess we’ll find out.

9:31:27 AM
All rise!

Before Wolson gets back to his cross-examination, there’s a bit of scheduling housekeeping to figure out — apparently, the judge has to fly back to Winnipeg for a medical appointment — wonky knee, remember — and Wolson is doubtful that he’ll be able to finish with the witness today; the upshot is that we’ll be adjourning at 3pm today – hurray! – and will pick up where we left off after the long weekend. Adjust your respective viewing schedules accordingly.

With that out of the way, Wolson plunges back into those fateful meetings between the witness and Karlheinz Schreiber; he runs Mulroney through a quick recap of surrounding events — the meetings, the lawsuit, that “interrogation” he underwent in 1996 — and points out that one of Mulroney’s main defenders at the time was William Kaplan, who wrote a book about the case that seemed to exonerate the former prime minister, to whom he claimed, at that time, that he had a “peripheral relationship” with Schreiber. Mulroney attempts to explain that away — it was an “honest answer”, considering that he had many close friends, family, political associates — he didn’t mean it in a perjorative way, but Wolson wonders about that private, legal commercial relationship he had with Schreiber — since Kaplan was “defending his honour”, wouldn’t it have been fair to let him in on that fact? Mulroney “doesn’t want to be technical” — wait, yes he does; his entire argument yesterday was that he answered questions under examination under the technical terms of the Quebec legal system — but Kaplan was writing about Airbus, not – anything else – and besides, he never asked. Besides, given the trials and tribulations and Kafkaesque plots against him that were ongoing, it wouldn’t have been “helpful” to go out of his way to alert him to that fact. Don’t ask, don’t tell.

9:42:33 AM
Is anyone else pretty much done with hearing about how very, very mean the government was to Mulroney when he launched his lawsuit? Because honestly, ITQ is pretty much done with it – nine lawyers, brutal hostility and all – and unless he doesn’t come up with some new material — honestly, he’s starting to repeat himself, phrase by phrase if not word for word; it’s like some sort of Mad Libs, the Aggrieved Former PM Edition. I think we get his point — why would he volunteer information to the enemy?

9:44:47 AM
Moving on – thankfully – to another meeting between Schreiber and Mulroney, in the company of Elmer MacKay and Fred Doucet — sorry, I didn’t catch the date, but I think it was in May 1992 — and in his prime ministerial office. It would have been about Bear Head, Wolson suggests, and Mulroney concurs — and would have been all business, no socializing. As was his habit, Schreiber immortalized that meeting with a letter to Mulroney in which he was downright gushing over the prospect of Bear Head finally moving from the theoretical to the temporal plane; once again, Mulroney denies having read it, prompting Wolson to wonder what happened to all these letters that he was sent. Anyway, in the letter, Schreiber waxes hopeful about further investigating the East Montreal gambit; Mulroney characterizes that as evidence that the project was once again being reconfigured. There’s also a line that suggests Mulroney was feeling particularly affable towards his peripheral acquaintence at that meeting – as per Schreiber, Mulroney made a suggestion that the two could meet up in Munich when the then-PM was attending the G7 summit. He – Mulroney that is – reminds Wolson that Schreiber has a tendency to invent such things out of whole cloth — remember the Tellier annotations, pointing out all the inaccuracies in the one piece of Schreibermail that seems to have actually made it to PCO, if not Mulroney

9:53:17 AM
Somehow, that last exchange sparked a fairly lively bit of back and forth between Wolson and Mulroney over the Bear Head project, and whether the latter did, in fact, “kill” the project, which he insists that he did. Yet it kept coming back, Wolson muses – and always to Mulroney. It would be resurrected, yes, Mulroney concedes. Apparently, even prime ministers need vampire slayers to take on some big bads.

9:57:04 AM
Okay, according to Mulroney, he never saw Tellier’s comments on the Schreibergram — not until it was provided as part of the Oliphant discovery process. He notes that it would have been up to Tellier — who was “uncorruptable” — to deal with those sorts of shenanigans, but this intrigues Wolson, who takes Mulroney through a brief history of the wildly conflicting claims made with regard to the potential cost to the taxpayer for the development of the Bear Head project; Mulroney reminds him that, well, sometimes there are overruns, and points to Mirabel as an example of spending creep, but notes that in this case, he killed the project.

10:00:27 AM
And now, a letter from Schreiber to Marcel Masse – May 13, 1992 – that discusses the potential migration to Montreal, and requesting a memorandum of understanding, ostensibly backed by the then-PM. Did Masse obey his instructions to ministers for dealing with people who claim to be speaking in his name? No, but according to Mulroney, this would fall outside the purview of interdiction, so he won’t retroactively throw him out of cabinet. Wolson, who is sounding just the tiniest bit sceptical at this point, moves onto another letter that Mulroney never saw – he never saw it; that’s all you need to know – but jokingly notes that the former PM best watch what he says, or he’ll be back for the policy phase. Mulroney says he’s enjoying himself, and Oliphant wonders if he’d be there with bells on, prompting a roomwide wave of giggles.

10:07:08 AM
More tales from the SchreiberDiary, with seemingly corroborating entries from the Doucet Files, involving a November meeting — 1992, I think, although they’ve stopped naming the years again, which makes it devilishly hard to follow — and a breakfast between Schreiber, Mulroney, David McLaughlin and others, possibly Doucet and/or MacKay. Mulroney thinks this might, in fact, be that breakfast that inspired a photograph — once again, it was all due to his fondness for MacKay that he would even have agreed to meet with him. After he had “killed” the project, Wolson points out, prompting Mulroney to once again, tries to get chummy with Wolson by suggesting that this was just more of Schreiber’s energizer bunny-ing; he was desperate to get the project, albeit a new configuration thereof, off the grounds, what with the $600,000 he had doled out to the good ole boys at GCI. There’s a bizarre moment where he makes it sound like he and the lead counsel for the commission are a crime-solving duo. Law and Order: Schreiber Victims Unit. I don’t know what Oliphant makes of it, but Wolson hustles along to the breakfast meeting, which Mulroney *still* won’t officially recall, but which he seems to accept likely took place.

10:16:19 AM
Is it just me, or does it almost seem like Mulroney is doing all but point the finger at Elmer MacKay as the cause of bringing this meddlesome lobbyist/arms dealer/eventual business associate into his life? It’s always couched in effusive praise for Elmer as a dear friend and the soul of integrity, but still — for pretty much every meeting between the two during the cross-exam so far, it turns out that, as per Mulroney, it was Elmer who got them in the same room at the same place.

Oh, the famous photograph *did* make it into the binder. I’ll have to try to scan that later – it has the whole gang; Mulroney sitting beside Schreiber across from a possibly smiling Fred Doucet, along with David McLoughlin and – Elmer? Maybe? I haven’t seen it yet.

10:20:18 AM
Is this the June 3, 1993 meeting? I think so – anyway, another series of corroboratory diary entries and official PMO schedules, another chinwag involving Schreiber that Mulroney can’t actually remember.

Wolson wonders where David McLoughlin — who was also at that meeting — is now, and Mulroney suggests, somewhat vaguely, that he is “somewhere in Ottawa”. He was Flaherty’s chief of staff, ITQ readers will recall, and is now a member of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, unless we are very much out of datedly mistaken. He’d be an interesting witness, no?

10:25:00 AM And – hey, we’ve made it to the Harrington Lake meeting! At which neither Fred Doucet nor Elmer MacKay nor anyone other than the two antagonists was present, Wolson points out; there wasn’t even someone from PMO to take notes, Mulroney confirms. It was a farewell courtesy call that he accepted at what could only have been MacKay’s request; Wolson reminds him that Schreiber had actually seen him just twenty days earlier, but Mulroney doesn’t budge from his assessment of the “private meeting” that is listed on his agenda. Why not call it a “courtesy call” on the schedule, Wolson wonders – a meeting on June 16th, for instance, is listed as a “courtesy call”. Mulroney starts to get defensive – well, visibly defensive – and wonders whether there’s “something mysterious” in listing it as a private meeting, and Wolson assures him that he’s suggesting no such thing, but still – why the different description? Mulroney has no answer to that, really, other than that he didn’t “technically” prepare the schedule.

10:36:17 AM
Sorry for the sudden – if mercifully brief – delay in updates — technical difficulties; hopefully now resolved. Wolson had Mulroney go through his schedule for that last month in office, which the former prime minister clearly enjoyed more than any line of questioning since Pratte handed the floor over to the commission counsel, what with all the many, many examples of him meeting with Very Important Entities, from breakfast with Bill Clinton to various meetings with journalists and well-wishers. Eventually, Wolson puts an end to Mulroney’s reminiscences, and gets him to put his version of the Harrington Lake on the record, which the former prime minister does, taking a swipe at the CBC account of Schreiber driving up in a chauffeured limo – which prompts a veiled warning from Wolson, who notes that he’s already covered that, thanks.

Once again, Mulroney denies that there was any agreement reached between the two men at that “courtesy call” at Harrington Lake, but Wolson brandishes the evidence that Schreiber then headed back to Germany to set up the Britan account. Mulroney does his best to cast at least a shadow of doubt on the forensic auditor’s report, at least insofar as it depends on the word of, and material from, Schreiber, but Wolson is politely relentless; it was, of course, just a few months later that Schreiber turned up in that hotel room at Mirabel with an envelope full of cash.

10:49:08 AM
Ooh, we have interventions! Or *an* intervention, even — wait, it may be one of those outwardly polite and informal clarifications — anyway, Guy Pratte can see exactly where Wolson is going with his current q-line; he’s getting Mulroney to admit to telling that incompetent yet still diabolical lawyer at the deposition most of the details of the Mirabel meeting – the lawsuit, the brochures with the UN-logo-festooned tanks – with the noteable exception of the cash handover. Pratte suggests that the latter bit of testimony had been in a different context, and Wolson – who has his arms crossed, but looks otherwise unflapped – moves on. The two go back and forth, until they get to the matter of the money – the actual logistics of the transfer of the envelope from Schreiber to Mulroney – and Wolson wonders how he knew the $100,000 was a retainer, which is — a very good question, actually, since apparently, no words to that effect were exchanged. At that point – after a brief question from the judge on what, exactly, “peripheral” means to Mulroney, in the context of his relationship with Schreiber – we break for lunch on an intriguing, and potentially incendiary note.

See you back here in fifteen!

11:06:55 AM
We have a special guest reporter in attendance today — the fabulous Bruce Cheadle, who has been covering the *other* big show in town — the O’Brien trial, that is, not like, the Hill — and is filling us all in on what’s been going on so far. I wonder if I’ll be able to pop over to the courthouse after this wraps up next week — it might be fun to liveblog people not being able to recall events that happened slightly more recently than the mid-90s.

11:12:25 AM
Still not back, but during the break I was idly musing – as I am wont to do on occasion – about the ban on counsel discussing testimony with their client while the examination is ongoing — even during adjournment — and I got to wondering whether that applies to PR firms as well. I guess it really couldn’t — I mean, they’re not covered by legal protocol, and it’s not like they’re involved in prepping the witness to testify– but it’s an interesting question, given the importance of optics in cases like this.

11:16:49 AM
The RHFPM is back behind the chair, so we should be getting back underway any second. One of the other reporters pointed out that Mila is not in attendance today – the first time yet – and blames the still-frigid temperature inside the hearing room. Oh, and according to Team Mulronigator, they *did* ask for the room to be kept cold, but having brought an extra hoodie throughout most of the last few weeks of hearings, ITQ is still somewhat sceptical that the current chill is much more than a happy instance of their wishes coinciding with the status quo.

11:23:06 AM
We’re back again, and Wolson wants to go right to where he was before the break: His suggestion, he tells the witness, was that, during the Sheppard deposition, he did mention Bear Head “morphing” into a project with UN implications, which – as the transcript shows – he did.

That accomplished, Wolson moves to the Mirabel meeting, to which Mulroney, he notes, was accompanied by an RCMP security detail. How does that work, he wonders — for how long is a former prime minister so protected? It doesn’t seem to have a firm deadline, according to Mulroney’s response – it’s as needed, for as long as necessary. He’s also a Right Honourable for life, Wolson notes, and a permanent member of the Privy Council as well.

What, Wolson asks, did Doucet say to him about the meeting Schreiber wanted to have with him? As best, that is, that the witness can recall, and Mulroney tells him that, as per Doucet, Schreiber wanted to discuss “an international mandate” involving his projects around the world – no, not any particular project, he confirms when asked by Wolson – which Mulroney thought was “fair ball”. Doucet promised to get back to him with the logistical details, and that was that.

Was he working at Ogilvie Renault at the time? Ish, as per Mulroney — he didn’t have an office at the time, but visted a few times to get “the lay of the land”.

Oh, and the safety deposit box at the cottage was for “jewellery and private matters” — and was Mila’s doing.

11:34:29 AM
Sidebar — Wolson is guiding Mulroney through a minute by minute recap of the meeting — but do you notice how he – Mulroney, that is – keeps describing that Ian Scott statement of claim as a lawsuit against *his* government, but by this point, he wasn’t prime minister any more. It was Kim Campbell’s government. I’m not sure if that’s any more than just a proprietary quirk, but since he’s done it every time he mentions the lawsuit, I thought I’d mention it.

Anyway, according to Mulroney, he got the brochures, but no definition of the mandate, which he thought of as a “watching brief”, and Wolson wonders if he called Schreiber afterwards. Mulroney reminds him that his means of contacting Schreiber was through Fred Doucet, who he called after the meeting, and told him that he had been retained on a — wait, he told Doucet that Schreiber had hired him? I thought Doucet didn’t know about the money until years later. Or did he make it sound like it was a non-paid “retention”?

11:40:30 AM
We don’t get an answer to the above question, frustratingly, but Wolson continues to inch through the meeting — to the end — or when he paid him — with the words “retainer in advance” accompanying the handover of the envelope. He told him it was cash “in response to a hesitation I envinced”, as per Mulroney; he hesitated, he says, because it was “his first time out” since leaving the PM job, and he hadn’t been confronted with something like *this*. He should have asked for a cheque, he admits — really, he does like to make that clear, doesn’t he? — but he didn’t. Did he hesitate because it was “contrary to his instincts”, Wolson asks – at which point, according to Mulroney, Schreiber told him he was an international businessman, and only dealt in cash. “Stop there,” Wolson instructs him – unless, of course, he has something else to say. Did he think that international businessmen dealt in cash? Yes-ish — he knew it was more the norm in Europe — and no, he didn’t believe international businessmen carried suitcases full of cash; this was an envelope — a legal-sized envelope (er, legal in a stationery sense, not statutory), not a suitcase.

At the time, Mulroney thought he was associated with Thyssen International, with interests around the world, employing thousands in Canada, Wolson points out — didn’t he realize that such a company wouldn’t deal in cash? Some major companies *did* do just that in Europe, Mulroney insists. Which he found out when he began getting involved in other international business a few years later.

11:49:04 AM
We’re still on the whole “cash” issue, and Wolson notes that, as an extremely bright man, and a former prime minister besides, wouldn’t he have realized that it would be better to ask for a cheque? Yes, Mulroney eagerly agrees — that was his mistake, although he does point out that it was perfectly legal — this was, after all, legitimate Canadian tender. Did he phone Fred, Wolson wonders — after all, he was like a brother. Mulroney demurs — Fred might not like that characterization, which I think anyone who listed to Doucet’s testimony would challenge — but Mulroney, alas, did not – not on that issue, but to tell him that the meeting had “gone well”, without going into the payment, or “the amounts”. Why, tho – leaving aside from the amount, of cours – didn’t he find out *how* Fred was paid? That was a part of the conversation that never happened, according to Mulroney. He didn’t ask the question, so he didn’t get an answer.

11:56:24 AM
Wolson moves on to the drive home from the Mirabel meeting, Mulroney holding the envelope full of thousand dollar bills, still with his Mountie escorts. Once he gets back to the cottage, he opens the envelope, counts the money and puts it in the safe. Just another day in the life of a former prime minister turned nascent international brief-watcher.

Fast forward past the China meeting, and the next time the two got together at the Queen Elizabeth: it was arranged, Mulroney recalls, by Fred Doucet — of course — prompting Wolson to wonder why, exactly, that was the case — why did he always go through an intermediary when dealing with Schreiber? It’s an interesting question, and we don’t really get an answer — that’s just how things worked. Mulroney can’t recall being “preoccupied” by the cash issue — definitely not on a daily basis.

Did he expect Schreiber to bring a second cash-stuffed envelope to the Queen Elizabeth meeting? No — after all, it was just a few months since Mirabel, and he didn’t know that he would be paying him at all.

12:05:34 PM
Having established that the Queen Elizabeth was, in fact, just a hop, skip and a cab ride from the offices of Ogilvie Renault, why didn’t Mulroney suggest to Schreiber — through Doucet, of course — that he pop by his office instead? Apparently, as per Mulroney, Doucet informed him that Schreiber was coming back to Canada, and would like to go out for coffee, and — you know, it’s just *odd* that Mulroney and Schreiber wouldn’t simply pick up their respective phones and set this up themselves. Did Mulroney have any other clients with which he only interacted through an intermediary? (Note: That was my question, not Wolson, just to be clear.)

Anyway, he gets to the hotel coffee bar – yes, we’ve heard all about this meeting during the Pratte exam – and he and Schreiber discuss the “watching brief” — after Mulroney has “wiped the egg off his face” over his somewhat optimistic prediction for the recently concluded federal election.

12:14:40 PM
Why, Wolson wonders, didn’t he take his pitch for the United Nations group buy of Bear Head products straight to the top — in this case, the Secretary General? Mulroney reminds him the Secretary General just implements policy — he doesn’t make decisions.

With that, Wolson tells us what we all pretty much knew already — there’s no way he’s going to finish today — and suggests we break for lunch, but Oliphant has a question for the witness: This supply of UN vehicles, which would be stationed near potential “troube spots” — would that mean that, say, the goverment of Rwanda would be able to use those vehicles until civil war broke out? No, no, Mulroney assures him — it would just be easier than having to transport all those vehicles? Oliphant wonders if it would make a lot of sense to give the nearest government the full use of the equipment pending a UN peacekeeping mission, and Mulroney tells him that the LAVs would always have been under the control of the UN.

On that note – we break for lunch. See you at 2pm!

1:43:50 PM
Man, everyone went off campus for lunch today — when the previously unimpeachably efficient cafeteria ran out of chicken fajitas, Colleague Maher and I decamped to the Sconewitch, and ran into numerous fellow Oliphantians during the to-ing and fro-ing, including various and sundry legal teams conducting the traditional lunch break power walk along the river. It’s an odd feeling, really — we’d all expected that today would be Mulroney’s grand finale, but now we know we’re barely through the second act, with who knows how much left to go.

1:59:21 PM
And we’re back — with a quick edition of the Schreiber HealthWatch, courtesy of Wolson: Auger has spoken with him, and he’s being assessed by his doctor. Mulroney now wants to finish his thought on the Rwanda situation, vis a vis that putative United Nations-funded mobile tank batallion, which apparently could have conceivably averted the subsequent massacre — well, provided the UN had actually responded when General Romeo Dallaire sounded the alert — and somehow, that thought-finishing has now turned into an ad hoc monologue on the problems with equipment standards. The judge thanks him, and Wolson – after making it clear that the foregoing was Mulroney’s conclusion to his response before the break, not a chat “behind the curtains”, since that doesn’t happen here, he’d justlike to make clear.

2:04:03 PM
With that out of the way, it’s back to the Queen Elizabeth meeting – and by this point, Wolson says, he *did* have a mandate, yes? An “embryonic mandate”, Mulroney clarifies, that he was forming all by himself, what with Schreiber being “in love with the Liberals” – as many people were at that time, Mulroney pipes up. Mulroney thinks that it was a Saturday, based on the clothes worn by the people who came up to him to shake hands, and ask for his autograph, and no, I’m not making that up.

He hadn’t asked for money, Wolson notes — no, as per Mulroney, “I never asked him for a nickel in my life.” Really? Did he think the initial discussion of the legal commercial relatiopnship was for some sort of volunteer service?

2:08:26 PM
Having gotten through the second handoff — Schreiber, according to Mulroney, just put the envelope on the table, in front of everyone in the coffee shop — Wolson wonders — why didn’t Mulroney put the money in the bank on the very next business day? He just — didn’t. He put it in the safe deposit box, and it just sat there, next the $75,000 from the previous encounter – oh, minus between $10-12,000 that he used for “expenses” on the China trip.
Wait, wait, wait – back up: Wasn’t that China trip actually made on behalf of another client? How did he spend $10,000 in expenses on a couple of meetings with the Chinese leadership?

2:13:56 PM
Wolson will not be thrown off his main point here — that at no point did Mulroney seemingly consider putting the money in the bank; bizarrely, the former prime minister suggests that if he had been fully set up at Ogivile Renault and Schreiber had dropped by his office during business hours, he would have told him to make it a cheque instead. But — why didn’t he just suggest that? I mean, we already established earlier that the firm was close to the Queen E — so why not invite him there? It’s as though Mulroney just showed up wherever Fred Doucet had told him to be.

Wolson asks if he had any subsequent contact with Schreiber on the file — no, he hadn’t, because he didn’t think that the job was done.

Also, Mulroney wants to make the point that just because these meetings happened at hotels doesn’t make them “sinister” — that’s just where Schreiber happened to be, likely because he was travelling back to Europe.

The problem, Wolson points out – or at least as Some May Say – is that it *does* sound a little sinister for a former prime minister to meet with someone who had lobbied him while in office — “I killed his project”, Mulroney reminds him — and accept cash payments, in a hotel room, or – in ITQ’s view – somewhere else. This prompts another debate over whether he *had* successfully killed off the project, and Mulroney maintains that, while it kept coming back, it was “reconfigured”.

2:23:48 PM
Mulroney repeats his line about how “preposterous” it would be to suggest that the prime minister who brought in a conflict of interest code would violate it mere hours before leaving office — really, it’s almost word for word what he said under questioning by Pratte. I — don’t think that argument is as persuasive as he believes it to be.

2:25:48 PM
If he’d been successful in selling the United Nations on the LAV plan, Wolson asks, where were they supposed to come from? Not Canada, since he had, after all, killed the project, and Mulroney’s response is, to be frank, a mess: he suggests Germany, or maybe somewhere else, but doesn’t seem to have given it much thought, since – well, that’s what’s hard to figure out; it’s as though he never believed that he would actually *make* the sale, so he didn’t bother worrying about the supply. He doesn’t even know if Germany could legally sell tanks to China or Russia.

2:28:32 PM
Off to the Pierre Hotel, and the matrimonial celebration lunch in honour of Elmer and Sharon MacKay, but, more importantly for Wolson’s purpose, the meeting with Schreiber at which the *third* $75,000 envelope changed hands.

2:32:05 PM
Wolson wants to know whether the number of payments was ever discussed — did he realize this would be the third installment? Did he know how many installments would be paid in total? No, and no.

Oh man, I think at this point *I* could give a minute-by-minute recap of the New York meeting, from the White Paper to the “payment on your retainer and/or advance”, which is, we are to believe, how Schreiber described it. Isn’t that a significant difference, at the very least in terms of the tax law? We heard all about how retainers are treated differently, as far as earned income, but isn’t an advance something else entirely?

Anyway, Mulroney doesn’t mention the envelope to Doucet, and Wolson wonders why he didn’t tell him, and — ooh, they’re getting testy, these two. Mulroney didn’t say a word about the money — it was a “private matter” — except this was *Fred Doucet*, who Mulroney used as his sole means of contact with *the man paying him all that money*. Really, this doesn’t make any sense at all.

2:40:10 PM
Oh, now it’s getting the players off the bench — well, the lawyers, at least; when Mulroney attempts to reprise his “It’s a rare individual who can claim an error-free life” speech from yesterday — that’s the thing about liveblogging; we notice when your rambling is a rerun — Wolson finally tries to shut him down — and the former prime minister plows right on until Pratte leaps up to demand that he be allowed to answer, which he is. Mulroney concludes by telling Wolson that he’ll tell him this over and over again, prompting Wolson to shoot back that he knows, since he’s already heard it a few times already.

2:45:33 PM
More about that safe deposit box, and – hey, this actually *is* an alternate version of the main examination. Mulroney is trying to give exactly the same explanation for his refusal to open a bank account, as opposed to a safe deposit box, because he had sensitive documents related to mysterious South American clients with unspecified business, and is there anyone out there that can come up with a reason why it would be more convenient to keep *cash* — not those documents, the cash — in a deposit box, rather than a bank account? It strikes me as a far more awkward arrangement, since you wouldn’t be able to retrieve it without visiting the bank in person.

2:50:38 PM
And – hey, apparently, Wolson is ready to head to a whole new area, which means that we’re adjourning now – ten minutes early! – in order to start fresh on Tuesday. Which means ITQ is off duty for the long weekend, starting — now! (Happy Queen Day, everyone!)

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