Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says allegations he was caught on tape smoking crack are "ridiculous," following reports that someone had been trying to sell a purported recording of such an event to U.S. and Canadian media outlets.
"Absolutely not true," he said outside his Etobicoke home on Friday morning. "It's ridiculous. It's another Toronto Star whatever," he said before getting into his Cadillac Escalade.
Later in the day, Ford emerged from his office at city hall to give a brief statement to reporters.
"Anyways, like I said this morning, these allegations are ridiculous, it’s another story with respect to the Toronto Star going after me," Ford said. "And that’s all I’ve got to say for now.”
Is Rob Ford guilty? Not without proof he isn't. There never seems to be enough actual proof to pin him down.
Did he use government funds for his own personal agenda? Apparently. Yes. But, we have let him off the hook for that. There is no actual proof of him directly asking for funds and favors. We all know what is going on, but he got away with that one.
Did he proposition Sarah Thompson? Maybe. Probably. But there is no proof of that either way. It is "he said, she said" and we won't ever know for sure either way. So, he is going to skate on that one as well. But that was a close one. There were cameras and reporters there who could have seen or heard what he did or said. Luckily for him, no one did. Again, he just barely avoided the proof that he could easily deny the allegations without recourse.
Did he smoke crack with drug dealers and get caught on tape? Well, all evidence points that he did. Except, and this is a big but, so far nobody has seen the tape other than 3 journalists. So, until everyone sees it, it doesn't exist and even if it does, there is no certain proof that it is Ford.
But, here is what we know for sure now.
1) at some point in the near future, that tape is going to come out in the open, and we will know either way. There is no "he said, she said" this time.
2) Rob Ford can be asked directly, in no vague terms now..." Is that you on that tape and did you smoke crack cocaine with drug dealers?". To which he will answer no.
3) The next question is the important one. "If it is in fact you on that tape, will you commit now to resigning as mayor?"
That is the key. There is no way out of the proof this time. And if the proof shows that Ford did what we all know he probably did, and got caught this time and can't lie or slander his way out of it, then lets get him to commit to his actions after the fact-- before the fact-- this time.
I mean a direct question that in no way can be misunderstood. Very much like the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal. In that case, Clinton was able to claim he had no sexual relations with her, meaning (to him) that he did not have intercourse. The better question could have and should have been, "Did you get a blow job from Monica Lewinsky, in the oval office, yes or no?"
If he had lied about that, without any chance of being vague or evasive, then he certainly would have been impeached. Not for the sex act, but for lying about it on the record.
The same can go for Rob Ford this time. He likely won't go quietly when he is caught this time, so having a false denial on record ahead of time will only back him into a corner, a corner he can't punch his way out of this time.
The proof is on tape this time, and in the crack pipe he was smoking with drug dealers.