It’s a phrase the late Johnnie Cochran might have deployed in the courtroom, and it’s one that should have been barked at Justin Trudeau before he sent a lawyer’s letter Andrew Scheer’s way for the latter’s “defamatory” criticisms on SNC-Lavalin.
But no one did. Or if somebody did speak up, that person was roundly ignored.
And so the stage was set for Trudeau’s limp legal arrow to be snatched out of mid-air by Scheer, turned around at a Sunday afternoon press conference, and stabbed into Trudeau’s backside, the latest act of self-harm in this apparently unending play.
It was as painful as it was predictable. There was no way Trudeau was ever going to follow through and endure the process of discovery on SNC. You don’t shut down two Parliamentary committees, sack two caucus members, and jettison your top two advisors because you’re eager to get to the bottom of something.
Even if Scheer has defamed Trudeau, he’s now called Trudeau’s bluff for all to see. If Trudeau is serious he needs to sue. Because I can guarantee you Scheer will be standing up every day to repeat his allegation, regardless of the limp attempt to chill. Knowing the Conservatives, they’ll soon have a website soliciting donations by tracking how many days it’s been since Trudeau issued his threat. It’s how they roll.
What nobody can figure out at the minute is how the Prime Minister’s Office is rolling. It hasn’t really rolled since Gerry Butts’ head rolled in mid-February.
What the failed legal gambit demonstrates is that no one at the Centre is thinking clearly. Not the Prime Minister. Not his Chief of Staff. Not his Executive Director of Communications and Planning. Not his Director of Communications. And not his Director of Issues Management. Every time they try to turn the corner on SNC they succeed only in stepping on another rake.
Update 2:24pm April 11th, 2019: