It must have seemed like such a good idea at the time: showcasing Senator Mike Duffy in a Conservative Party video, delivered by email to test a new state-of-the-art fundraising tool featuring personalized introductions.
On Thursday, though, the RCMP laid 31 charges against Duffy, fraud, breach of trust and bribery, related to Senate expense claims – and suddenly the digital footprint of Duffy's September 2010 fundraising pitch for the Conservatives is less helpful.
As part of a long tradition in the Upper Chamber, where party bagmen from the governing parties are tapped for double duty as legislators and party organisers, Stephen Harper appointed Duffy to the Senate in 2008; he was suspended, along with two other Harper appointees, last year.
The criminal charges now mean all this dirty laundry will be aired in court. Duffy's lawyer, Donald Bayne, is confident that Harper and his office won't come out looking so good.
"We are confident that when the full story is told, as it will be, and shown to be supported by many forms of evidence, it will be clear that Sen. Duffy is innocent of any criminal wrong-doing," he said in a statement.
Bayne added: "The evidence will show, that Sen. Duffy did not want to participate in [former Harper chief of staff] Nigel Wright’s and the PMO's repayment scenario, which they concocted for purely political purposes. There is much that is offensive here. But the evidence will show that it did not emanate from Sen. Duffy."