Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Another Duffy-Wright-Harper Morsel
Until mid-July, Chris Woodcock worked in the Harper PMO as Director of Issues Management. One of the issues Woodcock became involved in managing was the Duffy-Wright-Harper under-the-table cash deal. That came through loud and clear in an e-mail from Woodcock to Duffy.
In an email dated May 15, the morning after CTV News first reported that Wright and Duffy had come to a secret deal to help the senator repay his ineligible expenses, Woodcock asked Duffy: "Can you confirm whether you advised the Senate ethics officer of any loans/gifts involved in the March 25th repayment?"
"Trying to cover off all the angles," Woodcock wrote.
That's not quite like asking Duffy if he remembered to wipe the prints off the gun. Not quite, but close. It might even be enough to later persuade a Director of Issues Management that it might be best for all concerned if he didn't hang around the office any longer.
The CBC News story is also the first indication that Nigel Wright's lawyers may have been selective in the e-mails and documents they handed over to RCMP investigators.
The RCMP are looking for a chain of emails and documents that support Mike Duffy's allegations that the Senate expenses scandal reaches right into the Prime Minister's Office, CBC News has learned.
"The existence of such documentation may potentially be evidence of criminal wrongdoing by others," says Supt. Biage Carrese from the RCMP National Division in a Nov. 1 letter obtained by CBC News.
The Mounties are particularly interested in Duffy's claim that his initial story about repaying his disputed expenses by taking out an RBC loan was concocted by senior advisers to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"Emails from the PMO specifically relating to a script for Senator Duffy to follow in advance of obtaining funds from a RBC loan to repay the Receiver General" may be material to the RCMP's investigation, Carrese wrote.
It's not always easy to read between the lines of this Greek tragedy/farce but it seems notable that, while the RCMP has already recommended charges be laid against senator Pam Wallin, they're seemingly nowhere near that point with Duffy. That may have something to do with just who is on the case, the 'sensitive investigation' section, a designation that should rightly raise eyebrows. It almost certainly has something to do with the fact that they don't know how far this scandal reaches, who is implicated by "evidence of criminal wrongdoing by others."