Dishonest Todd should stand down | The Jackal

11 Jul 2020

Dishonest Todd should stand down

Todd Muller - Dishonest National Party leader
It seems that dishonest Todd Muller is, like many right-wing politicians, entirely morally bankrupt. I mean just look at the National Party’s leaking omni-shambles over the last week or so. They’ve imploded in a spectacular display of backfiring dirty politics, the likes of which we haven't seen since Nicky Hager wrote about the right wing poisoning New Zealand's political environment in 2014.

Not only did the corrupt leader of the opposition know all about the illegal leak of COVID-19 patient data from former National Party president Michelle Boag, which was a gross breach of private medical information for political gain...Muller also personally tried to politicise the leak and use it to unfairly criticise the Government.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

National Party Covid leak: Why did Todd Muller not say he knew Michael Woodhouse had the data? 

Muller said he learned on Tuesday Woodhouse had been sent patient records, but believed it was a "distinctly different issue" from Hamish Walker, whose career is now over. 
Walker leaked the information, but Woodhouse did nothing with it, Muller said.

If you believe that, I have a used car to sell you.

Walker admitted on Tuesday evening he was behind the leak of patient records to media. His source was former party president Michelle Boag. 
Woodhouse revealed yesterday he told Muller that he'd also been sent details by Boag. 
But the next day Muller was specifically asked if he'd checked whether Woodhouse had received similar information. 
Muller said: "No. It's very clear from our perspective that there is a conversation that's occurred or a connection that's occurred between Michelle Boag and Hamish Walker."

There’s no question that Todd Muller blatantly lied to journalists when asked direct questions about who else within his caucus had received leaked information from Michelle Boag.

Michelle Boag - Leaker
Woodhouse, who was previously caught lying about a homeless person he claimed received free accommodation, had also been provided privileged information so he could unethically attack the Government with it, a fact that Muller knew and deliberately lied about.

But instead of completely owning up, Muller and Woodhouse are now trying to make us believe that the National Party is too incompetent to coordinate a dirty political attack using illegally obtained information, and that this ineptness is an excuse for continuing to smear the Government while knowing Boag was the leaker.

Woodhouse said that before sending him the information last month, Boag called to say she "had some information around Covid that would be helpful to me" and asked for his private email address. 
He said he opened one email, saw it was patient information and "clearly there was nothing that I could benefit from and I did not use it". 
Boag sent him three more emails between June 21 and 25. Woodhouse said he didn't open them as he was away from his Dunedin electorate office.

If you also believe that, I have another used car to sell you.

On Monday, State Services Minister Chris Hipkins launched a powerful inquiry headed by Michael Heron, QC, promising to uncover "exactly who" was responsible. 
That same day Walker told Muller he was the leaker but later sent him a legal letter asking not to name him, citing privacy. 
Muller got his own legal advice and pushed forward with getting Walker to publicly confess. On Tuesday evening, Walker took responsibility for the leak. 
At the same time, Boag revealed she was his source. 
Woodhouse said after the pair admitted their actions, he gave Muller "a quick call to say I think there could be another dimension to this story". 
"He asked me to talk to Amy Adams in the morning about that, which I did." 
He deleted the emails from Boag that evening. He and Boag say they have contacted Heron and will cooperate with the inquiry. 

Let me get this straight. Woodhouse is claiming that he's cooperating with an official inquiry that's just been launched while at the same time deleting emails pertinent to that very same inquiry?

Good god National! At least try to make your excuses somewhat believable.

Muller said he stood by Woodhouse "100 per cent". 
"The critical error of misjudgment was Hamish Walker's in terms of leaking that information."
Muller said he was disappointed Woodhouse hadn't told him sooner "but it needs to be put in the context that he obviously didn't do anything with it". 
Muller has not asked all his MPs whether they'd also received sensitive information from Boag. 

Michael Woodhouse - Crooked Politician
After Woodhouse was also exposed as another recipient of Boag's emails, Muller again told journalists that no other National MP had received sensitive information, when he hadn’t even checked with them to see if his claims were true. Clearly the only way Muller would know this for sure is if he had directly conspired with Boag. The body language of Amy Adams and Gerry Brownlee during Todd Muller’s sweaty stand up on Thursday also tells a completely different story.

The problem for the National Party is that we’re only a couple of months out from the election, which isn’t enough time for voters to forget that the blue “team” used the private information of COVID-19 patients in another despicable dirty political attack.

Surely Muller’s chief advisor, Matthew Hooton, should remind the current National Party leader (who should stand down) that it’s not the original misconduct that they necessarily need to worry about, but the continued attempts to cover it up that’s much more politically damaging.