Sen. Mike Duffy claims there were two cheques

MARK DUNN, Senior National Reporter

, Last Updated: 8:01 PM ET

OTTAWA - Stephen Harper's Halloween gathering Thursday with party faithful in Calgary got scarier Monday after Mike Duffy exposed some more skeletons implicating the Prime Minister's Office in the Senate spending scandal.

Duffy accused the PMO of a "monstrous" fraud, saying a second cheque of $13,560 was cut to cover his legal bills on top of the $90,000 Harper's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, gave him to repay expense claims.

Duffy says Wright arranged both cheques and hinted there could be others.

Duffy says the sordid affair is part of a "dirty scheme" of threats and intimidation to force him to accept Wright's payment to protect Harper from a political embarrassment that was agitating the party's base.

Senators Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau are fighting attempts to expel them from the Senate without pay and benefits over spending violations.

Duffy said the second cheque was sent to his lawyer, Janice Payne, by Arthur Hamilton, a lawyer for the Conservative party, which paid the bill.

The former broadcaster tabled e-mails and other documents including a cancelled copy of the cheque he said helps prove his defence he was framed by a Senate committee that was doing the bidding of the PMO to discredit him.

"I can only conclude that this was a set up planned by the Senate leadership under the direction of the PMO and designed to destroy my credibility ... if and when I ever went public about the real story behind the $90,000."

In one e-mail, Wright informs Duffy he broke no rules when he claimed housing allowances - now the focus of a police investigation.

"I am told that you have complied with all the applicable rules and that there would be several senators with similar arrangements," Wright says in the correspondence dated Dec. 4, 2012.

Duffy said despite heart issues he stopped by the Senate on Monday to counter an "avalanche of untruths" by the government leader, Claude Carignan, Marjory LeBreton, Harper's former lieutenant in the chamber, and others.

The PMO issued a statement Monday, saying Wright "is on the record naming those he informed of his arrangement with Mr. Duffy, and he's assumed sole responsibility for his actions.

"The Prime Minister was not aware of the arrangement and had it been presented to him he would not have approved of such a scheme," the statement read. "We remain steadfast in our view that Senators who have claimed inappropriate expenses should not be collecting a paycheque from the public.

"If you have questions about Mr. Duffy's legal fees you should contact the Party."

Last week Duffy said four lawyers were involved in the negotiations in the Wright transaction - a deal he said he was coerced into taking or be fired.

He said the PMO and Senate leadership were part of a coverup and a conspiracy to commit bribery and extortion against a sitting parliamentarian.

In Monday's bombshells, he also exposed the PMO for concocting a story that he got a loan from the Royal Bank to cover the $90,000 and then later used their story to smear him when that was shown not to be the case.

Mark.Dunn@sunmedia.ca

 

The Duffy Documents by David Akin

 

 

 

 

 


Videos

Photos