Eighty pages of documents were placed in front of a judge today by RCMP investigators probing the senate scandal. In them, we learn that, in addition to Senator Mike Duffy, the RCMP now believe Nigel Wright, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former chief of staff, also committed a fraud on the government and is guilty of breach of trust.
Nothing has been proven in court, yet, but there is much jaw-dropping information in them.
Here, though, are the bombshell quotes, given that Prime Minister Stephen Harper has personally and frequently told the House of Commons that, whatever happened involving Duffy, Wright, and that $90,000 cheque, Harper knew nothing about it.
Here is the prime minister in the House of Commons, a few days ago, on Thursday, November 7:
“ The fact of the matter is this. As I said, Mr. Wright told me on May 15 that he had used his personal funds to pay the moneys to Mr. Duffy, the moneys that Mr. Duffy claimed publicly he had repaid himself. Obviously, it was unacceptable that this was done, and particularly that I was not informed and my permission to do such a thing was never sought. I obviously would never have given it, and for that reason these two individuals have faced sanctions.”
But now that statement has to be squared with what the RCMP have put on the court file, namely this e-mail dated February 22. It is from Wright to Harper’s personal lawyer in the PMO, Benjamin Perrin and, in reference to a deal that would later be aborted in which the Conservative Party would cover Duffy’s re-payment. At this point, the bill was only about $30,000. Everything is ready to but Wright sends an e-mail to Perrin saying:
“I do want to speak to the PM before everything is considered final .”
An hour later, Wright sends this e-mail: “We are good to go from the PM ...”
But that deal blows up becuase, as it turns out, Duffy owes $90,000, not $30,000. Wright decides he will pay the bill himself. He does. After he does so but before this deal is reported publicly Wright sends out this e-mail to one of his press secretaries:
“The PM knows, in broad terms only, that I personally assisted Duffy when I was getting him to agree to repay the expenses.”
As for Harper and the PMO, they will cling to this line in today’s court file, written by the RCMP investigator on the case, Cpl. Greg Horton:
I am not aware of any evidence that the Prime Minister was involved in the repayment or reimbursement of money to Senator Duffy or his lawyer.