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The use of private contractors is totally within the parameters of defense department spending. I look forward to the Cyrez hearing and I'm absolutely confident that we'll be vindicated of any mismanagement of funds.
~ Harper expressing his concerns over the scandal on television.
You don't get it, do you? The money has changed hands. These are not the kind of people you CANCEL ON!! You get those guns out of the country tonight or you're a dead man!
~ Harper ordering Deguerin to cover the tracks of their plan to sell the railguns.
Daniel Harper is the main antagonist of the 1996 action thriller film Eraser. He is the corrupt U.S. Undersecretary of Defense serving as the mastermind behind a scandal to sell rail-guns on the black market.
During the beginning of the film, U.S. Marshal John Kruger (the hero of the film) and the FBI have caught wind of an arms sale formulated by a weapons company called Cyrez Corporation to sell electronic pulse rifles to Russian mobsters led by the infamous terrorist Sergei Ivanovich Petrofsky for a sum of $52 million, which may lead into a new era of world terrorism. After Cyrez Corporation executive Lee Cullen procures two discs containing the evidence following the suicide of Cyrez Vice President William Donahue (who was a major player in the conspiracy), she gives one of the discs to the FBI before Kruger is assigned to protect her by having her to hide in New York City.
However, the FBI's disc is secretly stolen by a clerk named Sully working for Harper, who retrieves it, revealing himself to be the real mastermind behind the arms sale. Despite retrieving the disc, Harper is angry to learn from his co-conspirator (Cyrez CEO Morehart) that Cullen has the other disc containing the evidence and that she talked to a Washington Herald reporter named Claire Issacs about the story. Harper orders both Cullen and Issacs to be killed before destroying his disc. He also assigns his right-hand man, U.S Marshal Robert Deguerin, to personally oversee an incoming shipment of 10 tons of railguns into Petrofsky's freighter ship at the Baltimore docks. During a TV news report at Congress, Harper expressed his concerns over the scandal and assured that Cyrez itself will be vindicated of any wrongdoings, much to Cullen's disgust.
Covering the Tracks
Though the hit on Issacs was a success (thanks to Agents Schiff and Calderon), Harper is angry to learn from Deguerin that Cullen is escaping away thanks to Kruger's efforts. Following the deaths of J. Scar and his thugs, Deguerin suggests cancelling the shipment to avoid any heat from the authorities, but Harper angrily refuses and threatens to have Deguerin killed if he does not finish the job of selling away the rail-guns. Deguerin then suggests setting up a trap at Cyrez, deducing that Kruger and Cullen will head over there to access their disc that will expose the scandal. To that point, Harper agrees to Deguerin's idea, demanding that not only the rail-guns will be sent away, but that the disc be destroyed and both Kruger and Cullen be killed before next dawn.
Though the Systems Administrator manages to destroy the disc while Deguerin kidnaps Cullen and brings her to the docks to oversee the shipment in Petrofsky's freighter ship, Kruger managed to escape again after killing Cyrez security chief James Haggerty. With the help of a mob witness named Johnny Castleone and his cousin Tony (who owns the docks), Kruger stops the shipments by killing down Deguerin's men, including Petrofsky and his men. Deguerin is then exposed and handed over to the authorities, and Harper's role behind the arms sale is exposed before he is presumably arrested and taken into custody along with his conspirators.
The next day, a hearing takes place, but Deguerin, Harper and Morehart manage to escape charges of treason, since a conviction and sentence for them will be impossible under civil law jurisdiction. As they leave in their limousine, Kruger and Lee are killed by a vehicle explosion in front of a large crowd of witnesses, including Harper himself. Despite escaping away from all charges, Harper is uncertain of starting up a new plot as he fears that the authorities would still catch up to him and his conspirators. However, Deguerin convinces him to do so by pointing out that Lee and Kruger are already dead since they're the only witnesses to the case.
Deguerin believes the explosion had been set up by Harper, but Harper assumed vice versa. The conspirators soon realize that no one within their inner circle had actually arranged it, just as the limousine suddenly comes to an abrupt halt on a train crossing, and the doors lock themselves shut. The driver, who turns out to be Johnny himself in disguise, exits from the limo and runs off from the area. Harper anxiously looks around before he receives a phone call from Kruger, revealing that he and Lee actually faked their deaths to lure the conspirators into a trap.
Looking out of the window, Harper, Deguerin and Morehart see a freight train steadily approaching them, and Kruger and Johnny stand by to watch it smash into the limousine, finally killing Harper and his conspirators for good.
Harper informed of Lee Cullen's escape after obtaining a disc containing the evidence of their plot.
Harper ordering Morehart to have reporter Claire Issacs killed to cover their tracks.
Harper furiously breaking the disc to cover his tracks.
Harper discussing his seeming concerns over the Cyrez scandal on live TV.
Harper entering into a heated argument with Deguerin in their limousine.
Harper angrily threatening to have Deguerin killed if he does not finish the job tonight.
Harper and his conspirators escaping charges of treason after the plot is exposed.
Harper and his conspirators locked up in their limousine as they are about to be run over by an incoming freight train.
Harper and his conspirators killed as their limousine is obliterated by the freight train. (Lee Cullen: What happened?/Kruger: They caught a train.)
Despite Deguerin driving the plot of the film, Harper is the main antagonist of the film as he had bigger plans than anyone else; he even proved to be more dangerous than Deguerin as he threatened to have the latter murdered if he does not finish the job of selling the rail-guns.