We are eight weeks, nearly a full two months, into the SNC/PMO Scandal and I have to admit today feels different. There’s just that feeling in the air that things are really about to jump off again, a sense of foreboding that’s just lingering out there. Today we’ve had a couple of developments so far, with more to come before the end of the night. First let’s start here:
The Butts Papers are out and somehow every national media outlet got a copy of them, redacted and all, before the House of Commons Justice Committee released them. Hmmmm, I wonder who would have leaked that one??? You know, there are rules against leaking these kinds of things, but we’ll worry about that detail another day. In the meantime, you can see the documents above and there really isn’t a lot of new news here. A lot of what Mr. Butts says confirms what Jody Wilson-Raybould has already testified to and it shows that she was worried that this cabinet shuffle was really all about SNC. Some people are trying to say this shows some kind of motive, that she was out to get the PM, but I just don’t see that. You can read the documents yourself and judge.
But the bigger potential development is one that looks like it will play out before the end of the evening. Some people were assuming we’d have to wait until Wednesdays Liberal caucus meeting to find out if Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott will be removed from caucus. Before we got to that point though, Wilson-Raybould decided to address her caucus colleagues again, this time in a letter, which I believe lays out this whole situation very well.
She makes an impassioned plea for staying, for being a better party and following through on the promises that they ran on. That is very noble, and very consistent with her views since the very beginning. But how would they reply to this? What would they do? Well, it seems the response involves moving the timeline on what we thought would happen tomorrow:
Folks, it’s clear as day what’s going to happen tonight; the Liberal Party looks like they are about to compound their mistakes and jump this up to a whole new level. This all feels like the end of the beginning of this story. We’ll see what actually happens tonight and I’ll have more to say about that later, but this is one of those days and moments that feels like it will be a turning point. It feels that we’ll look back on this day years from now and point to this moment as the time that things changed, for better or worse. Like I said though, we’ll see what happens tonight. Stay tuned.