POLITICS

Duffy Trial: 5 Things To Know From Wright's Testimony On Friday

08/14/2015 07:06 EDT | Updated 08/14/2016 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA — Stephen Harper's former chief of staff, Nigel Wright, faced a second day of cross-examination on Friday.

Here are five highlights from the proceedings:

1. Duffy's lawyer ripped into Wright's image

Donald Bayne tried to discredit Wright by suggesting he and others in the Prime Minister’s Office forced Duffy into a expense-repayment scheme the senator did not support. On Thursday, the devoutly religious Wright quoted the Bible to explain his motives. Bayne said Wright was not simply doing a "good deed." He told court the former chief of staff was motivated by politics, not faith.

2. Duffy's lawyer maintains his client was coerced into the repayment scenario

Duffy has long insisted he’s a victim, not a co-conspirator, in the scheme to reduce political damage from questions about his expense filings. Bayne continued this argument Friday, suggesting his client was pushed into a payment plan by the most powerful political figures in the country.

3. Several in the PMO knew about a plan to have the Conservative party fund repay expenses

A wide net of insiders in the PMO were aware of the original plan for the Conservative party fund to repay Duffy's expenses, Wright told the court. This circle included Duffy, Duffy's then-lawyer Janice Payne, former PMO issues management director Chris Woodcock, Conservative party lawyer Arthur Hamilton, former PMO lawyer Ben Perrin and Sen. Irving Gerstein, who controls the fund. Wright told court he was trying to remember everyone who was involved but indicated there "might be others." Wright maintains Harper was not told about this original plan, which fell through because the tab turned out to be $90,000 instead of $32,000.

4. Wright did not see a problem with the Conservative party fund repaying expenses

Wright told court he "thought it was okay" for the Conservative party fund to repay Duffy's expenses because the "appropriate thing to do was to pay them back." Bayne suggested this was not appropriate because the fund is subsidized by taxpayers.

5. Duffy told Harper's former principal secretary and current chief of staff he 'did nothing wrong' on same day he claimed the expenses would be repaid

The court also heard about an email Duffy sent to Ray Novak on Feb. 22, 2013 which indicated the senator believed he was "cooked" and "did nothing wrong." On the very same day, Duffy claimed he would voluntarily pay back his own expenses. The senator did not reveal that Wright was the person who ended up giving him the $90,000.

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