Rumour du jour: Duffy to deal?

Despite his spirited protestations of innocence and stout denials that he would ever cut a deal, there is increased  speculation that Mike Duffy is again weighing the odds of exoneration versus incarceration.

And after last week’s damning testimony, who can blame him?

A conviction for Duffy, pushing 70 and with serious health problems, might mean that he could die in the slammer. (The bribery charge alone carries a 14-year max, and the ol’ Duff shouldn’t expect leniency because of his age. Justice Charles Vaillancourt last January sent an 80-year-old perv named James McTurk to the Big House for two years for kiddy diddling.)

Things are not coming up aces for Duffy. Indeed, even if he beats jail time by copping a plea, he still faces financial disaster.

The Senate was his lone source of income and that dried up when he got suspended two years ago. In order to survive, Duffy had to mortgage his Kanata home to the tune of $550,000, but a big chunk of that dough goes to defence legalist Donald Bayne, even with the old pro reportedly offering his services at a compassionate discount.

If the trial stretches into July, as suggested by Vaillancourt, Duffy’s legal tab could be even more ruinous. (Convicted or no, the chances of Duffy ever working again in journalism are slim to zero. Even his old pal, Steve Madely, the CFRA radio loudmouth, rejected Duffy when he came begging for a gig last year.)

But if a longer trial costs Duffy more, it could also play to his advantage, since his chances of copping a plea deal increase with every passing day that Bayne can chip away at the Crown’s case. Plus, an extended trial also ratchets up the media and political pressure.

By copping a guilty plea in exchange for leniency, Duffy gets to stay out of jail, the prosecution gets its conviction, and the Tories are off the hook.

Or so the theory goes.

Tragically, the Ol’ Duff, had he not been suspended, would have qualified for his Senate pension in January, and could have preceded any plea bargain with a quickie retirement a la Raymond Lavigne and Mac Harb. 

The grisly duo managed to preserve their goodies and avoid expulsion for having been, as the rules of the Senate have it, “attainted of Treason or convicted of Felony or of any infamous Crime.”

Alas, the clock has stopped on Duffy’s pensionable time, further raising the stakes of cutting a deal.

What to do, what to do?


  1. Pray that the Duff doesn’t bargain until he has taken the stand & Bayne has had a go at Nigel.

  2. Or, if Duffy is determined to continue to do to damage Harper and gamble on an acquittal, he could cut a fee deal with Donald Bayne. Still, the daily drip of publicity is at least as damaging to Duffy as it is to Harper & his government. If he does strike a plea deal with the Crown, it might look like he is also being pressured by Harper’s cronies, who stand to lose a lot if / when Nigel Wright takes the stand, or by members of the Senate who are afraid that their names might come to be associated with past activities that are at least as shady as Duffy’s.

  3. The Senate wasn’t Duffy’s sole source of income recently. He also had his lucrative speaking engagements, although these have dried up too since the suspension.

  4. Hmmm. Have been following the trial as closely as you can from a distance but have a different read: don’t think that the crown has established much anything yet. All the “revelations” seem so piddly, almost pathetic, and could have been dealt with and cleaned up long ago in the Senate — but the PMO wasn’t willing to let any of the accused senators defend themselves in a proper venue, i.e. there never was due process in the Senate. (Remember that Wallin was hit with retroactive changes in policies, when she had previously, according to her statements, followed a different set of rules.) Instead of the Senate handling the problems, fairly and squarely, we now have a multi-million court case, for which the taxpayers are footing the bill. Does that make sense?

  5. So far the prosecution has succeeded in showing that all expenses met guidelines. My fear is a dismissal before a defence can throw light into the murky corners of the PMO.

    • My fear, precisely. I want the Dear Leader and his legion of henchthingies irremediably dishonoured, disgraced and discombobulated unto the fourth generation.

      • We might see most of the fraud charges dismissed, but there’s still the charge of having accepted a bribe. I doubt that Duffy will be convicted on that in the absence of any charges against Nigel Wright. It’s quite possible, of course, that Wright struck a deal with the RCMP and the Crown attorney – namely, his testimony against Duffy in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

  6. There was one astute comment by a local blogger to the effect that the Duffster apparently didn’t even know he had a (not cheap) polling reports subscription and the PMO and other party hench-thingies have always pushed through all sorts of expenses via Senators that would go through on the nod. The more details I hear, Duff comes across as the friend who checks under the cushions for change when you leave the room, but nothing that sounds in the least bit illegal. (Yes, it is sad, that) Venal, certainly.

    If Steve-O is correct, then the Crown ineptly struck a deal with the wrong person. I’d rather Duff was the canary.

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