The drip-feed of incriminating stories about Labor senator Sam Dastyari and his dealings with Chinese interests continued to lubricate the country's major papers, with the The Australian and Fairfax both printing "exclusives" this morning claiming Dastyari had asked deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek not to meet with a pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong back in 2015. A spokesman for Dastyari described the story, which cites "multiple" anonymous sources, as "complete rubbish". Regardless, Attorney-General George Brandis has already referred Dasher to the Senate's privileges committee over his relationships with Chinese donors.
The media routinely describe the committee as "powerful", but what is the privileges committee, and what power does it have? It's been observed that, while Labor leader Bill Shorten could expel the embattled senator from the party, Shorten doesn't have the power to kick Dastyari out of the Senate. So could being hauled in front of the committee be the end for Dasher?