One out, second batter at the plate. This time it's former Harper Special Counsel Benjamin Perrin facing the fastball of Donald Bayne.
The first gem to fall from Perrin's lips is that Harper knew better. Perrin told him that it wasn't enough that Duffy owned a summer cottage in Prince Edward Island. More was needed for the Cavendish Cottager to qualify for appointment to the Senate.
Prime minister "Divine Right means I am the law" Harper wasn't troubled by legal technicalities as he proceeded to appoint more senators in one year than any Canadian prime minister in history. This went for the 3-raters, the reliable stooges, and doubly for the strategic hires - those appointed because of who they were and what they could deliver. Among the strategic hires were Mike Duffy, of course, plus Pamela Wallin plus Carolyn-Stewart Olsen.
None of them had been resident for many, many years in the provinces they were appointed to represent. That didn't matter to Shifty. He didn't care. Duffy's account is that he went to Harper at the outset asking how he could qualify to represent PEI to which Furious Leader said "don't worry about it, you're in." Duffy was in. Wallin was in. Stewart-Olsen was in.
The emails show that the PMO pressured Harper's "loyal unto death" senators to pass some declaration confirming that Duffy qualified to represent his birth province in the Senate.
Perrin testified he wouldn't consider himself a resident of Nunavut simply because he owned property there.
He said he communicated with the PMO as "diplomatically" as he could that the "view taken by the prime minister was not consistent with basic legal interpretation principles and that I didn't agree with it."
But he said the PMO stood firm on its definition.
At the time, there had been questions about whether some senators, including Duffy, met the constitutional residency requirements.
There won't be much in the way of fireworks today given that it's the Crown's turn to pitch slowballs to Perrin. But, that pot of water in which Harper finds himself stuck, is slowly heading to the boiling point.