OTTAWA — The Liberals are joining the NDP in fanning the Mike Duffy flames, asking the RCMP to expand its investigation by looking into messages sent to and from Stephen Harper’s chief of staff because they may be relevant to the senator’s fraud trial.
Duffy’s trial this week heard that Ray Novak was present for discussions about a controversial $90,000 payment in 2013 by Harper’s previous chief of staff, Nigel Wright, to cover Duffy’s questionable expenses.
The testimony contradicts assertions from Harper and the Conservative campaign about what Novak knew about the repayment scheme.
Liberal candidate Dominic LeBlanc sent a letter to the RCMP and the information commissioner Friday, asking them to look into text messages and BlackBerry PIN messages sent and received by Ray Novak.
“Email records produced thus far may not tell the complete story. Specifically, new testimony may indicate that Mr. Wright and Mr. Novak communicated via BlackBerry PINs and BlackBerry messages in the past, and as recently as two weeks ago,” LeBlanc wrote.
“Given that certain PINs, text messages, or BlackBerry messages could be relevant to the criminal trial, I am requesting that any necessary steps be taken to ensure that these potentially relevant communications are preserved and not deleted or destroyed.”
Earlier this week, the NDP sent a letter to the RCMP commissioner, asking him to consider laying charges against Wright and up to a dozen other staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office for their alleged roles in covering up the Duffy expenses scandal.
NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said Wright’s testimony — which wrapped up this week after six days on the stand — produced significant new evidence about Wright’s role as well as that of at least a dozen other senior staff in the PMO, including Novak.