Duffy-Wright Probe: PMO Gives Hard Drive To RCMP

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NIGEL WRIGHT MIKE DUFFY
The Prime Minister's Office handed over a hard drive to RCMP on Friday as part of an ongoing investigation into the prime minister's former chief of staff Nigel Wight and suspended Senator Mike Duffy. | CP

The Prime Minister's Office has turned over a hard drive and a Purolator receipt to the RCMP as part of the Mounties' investigation into Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, and suspended Senator Mike Duffy.

Court records show the RCMP retrieved a hard drive of information through Robert Staley, a lawyer for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The hard drive was retrieved from a Queen Street address in Ottawa where part of the Privy Council Office is located. The PCO is the arm of the civil service that works for the prime minister.

The court records show the RCMP received the data on Jan. 16, 2014. The item description says it is "Intella file report data," which seems to refer to a forensic search tool that can be used to recover deleted email or other files and extract metadata, among other purposes.

Reams of emails

The RCMP have gone through reams of emails surrounding how the Prime Minister's Office handled the scandal around Duffy's Senate expenses, leading Wright to give Duffy more than $90,000 to repay the expenses.

Court records released in November show the RCMP sought emails from Benjamin Perrin, who at the time was a lawyer for Harper, but they were told the emails were deleted when Perrin left his job. 

Less than two weeks later, the government said they had been mistaken: PCO actually still had the emails because they'd been kept due to "an unrelated litigation."

The Intella file report hard drive was turned over about six weeks after that.

More recently, the PMO gave the Mounties a Purolator slip for something mailed from Charlottetown to Wright on Feb. 21, 2013.

The receipt is related to information already provided to the RCMP, the court records suggest.

The receipt was turned over on March 27, 2014.

Staley directed CBC's request for comment to Harper's office. Harper's director of communications couldn't immediately be reached to comment.
 

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