APTN National News
OTTAWA–Embattled Sen. Patrick Brazeau was offered a “backroom deal” by the Conservative leader in the Senate to avoid suspension from the Red Chamber.
The Senate is currently debating a Conservative motion to suspend Brazeau, Sen.Pamela Wallin and Sen. Mike Duffy from the Senate.
All three Senators were appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
“I was essentially offered a backroom deal and the backroom deal was, if I stood in this chamber and apologized to Canadians and took responsibility for my actions that my punishment would be lesser,” said Brazeau.
Brazeau has already been banished from the Conservative caucus.
He told the Senate the offer came at 10:20 a.m. Friday morning while he standing outside the chamber in the back.
Government Leader in the Senate Claude Carignan admitted the conversation happened, but tried to give it a different sheen.
“I did that in confidence and frankly, I did so in an attempt to help him,” said Carignan. “Perhaps I had too strong of an urge to help him.”
Harper has given his full backing to the move to expel the three Senators who’ve been mired in controversy over their expenses and housing claims.
The controversy exploded into scandal this week over revelations that up to 13 people within the Prime Minister’s Office had knowledge of a deal to pay off Duffy’s expenses through a personal cheque cut by Harper’s former chief of staff Nigel Wright.
Harper originally claimed only Wright knew about the deal before admitting Thursday that a “few people” knew about the cheque. Harper’s parliamentary secretary Paul Calandra said four people knew about the deal.
Duffy also claimed that, in a conversation also involving Wright, Harper ordered Duffy to pay back his expenses because the issue was hurting the party with its base.