With some of the major media organs still vacillating over Brian Mulroney’s performance in front of the House of Commons ethics committee, I would urge Canadians to read the National Post editorial board’s judgment on Mulroney’s account of events and then proceed to a-Post-ate Andrew Coyne’s more detailed and more damning piece for Maclean’s. And here’s a brief point worth remembering about Karlheinz Schreiber. For someone who set out Thursday morning to rehabilitate his reputation, Mr. Mulroney sure left a lot of dents in it. As Coyne points out, the story Mulroney has finally told is extremely bizarre even if you take him at his word on every point where his story conflicts with Schreiber’s.
He has also made it painfully apparent why he had to cut his spokesman Luc Lavoie loose almost at the last minute before his testimony: Lavoie had been trial-ballooning the outrageous idea that Mulroney had been forced by penury into making an unwise commercial bargain (even claiming that the ex-PM and former Iron Ore Co. boss had to take envelopes full of secret cash from Schreiber in order to support the wife and kids in their accustomed lifestyle), but this proved so ridiculous and untenable that the team had to switch to the “it was all just a big crazy mistake” explanation and euthanize the messenger. That’s how it looks from here, anyway: you can choose to believe the official story if you like.