There is a strategy out there for surviving political scandals that amounts to damage control. It usually comes in a variety of forms, all with one goal in mind: wait out the problem in the hope that it will be exceeded by a new news cycle. Tactics to that end might include getting all the bad stuff out ASAP so that the media can’t control its outcome, or stone walling public inquiry with claims of executive privilege and lawyer-client privilege. Back in 1973, President Nixon used the latter in an attempt to keep Congress and the Justice Department from getting hold of incriminating tapes. Many of my conservative friends from that era often wonder why Nixon hadn’t owned up to approving the Watergate break-in when it first became news in 1972. If he had, there is a better chance his presidency might have survived. Instead, he tried to brazen his way through a criminal investigation and a nasty constitutional crisis that ended in him being removed from office. Could the same scenario play out here in Canada with the SNC Lavalin scandal involving questionable contract negotiations with the federal government and a major Quebec engineering firm, already under indictment for corrupt practices in Libya. PM Trudeau, under advice of the Prime Minister’s Office who are at the heart of the scandal, refuses to answer any questions concerning conversations arising within cabinet between him and his former justice minister over SNC contracts. It so happens that this minister refused to intercede on behalf of this company to get criminal charges deferred, and was consequently demoted. Like Nixon before him, Trudeau is claiming privilege in order to contain the scandal so that it doesn’t bring down his government. Meanwhile, Trudeau has, in the last week, resorted to releasing conflicting versions as to why Rayboult-Wilson was demoted. Since the Libs control the agenda for any justice committee inquiry, they get the procedural right to limit the witnesses called to give testimony, which includes the former justice minister, who has, in effect, been gagged from testifying as long as Trudeau refuses to waive privilege. All that is left to cling to in this potential obfuscation of justice is that the court of public opinion will weigh in and see this scandal as nothing short of a deliberately stalled cover-up.