back to top

The Mike Duffy Scandal As Explained By "Game Of Thrones" GIFs

It's a Red Chamber Wedding. (Spoilers and/or winter ahead.)

Posted on

That way he could claim housing expenses for when he stayed in Ottawa — despite already owning a home there. Housing expenses are supposed to help Senators rent somewhere in Ottawa so they can get to work.

Reporters started writing about this in 2012. Duffy insisted he didn't do anything wrong but it was fast becoming an embarrassment for Stephen Harper. Plus, Duffy was worth his weight in gold.

HBO / Via

Duffy boasted of spending "countless weekends on the rubber chicken circuit," travelling across the country to raise money for the Conservatives.

Duffy said he couldn't afford to pay back the expenses so Harper's chief of staff, Nigel Wright, wrote Duffy a $90,000 cheque to cover them. Wright is a millionaire so he could spare some change.

HBO / Via

Except, of course, that you can't give tens of thousands of dollars to legislators. Police would later charge Duffy for accepting a bribe (but oddly, Wright was never charged for offering a bribe).

Duffy then told the public he voluntarily repaid the money himself. Behind the scenes, staff in the Prime Minister's Office tried to prevent any more embarrassing details from coming out.


They interfered in a Senate investigation, even ghost-writing a report, despite the Senate supposedly being independent. They also tried and failed to have Duffy's expenses removed from a third-party audit.

The cover-up didn't work. More details came out, including Duffy expensing for Senate work while fundraising for the Conservatives or on vacation in Florida.


Stephen Harper denied knowing about the cheque or the cover-up, despite several senior people in his office allegedly knowing about it or being involved.

HBO / Via

Except some people say he did. The lawyer who advised Harper's office now says he believed the Prime Minister knew what was going on.

Internal emails from Wright said Harper was "good to go" on the cheque. But Harper says he thought the plan was for Duffy to repay his own expenses.

Paul McLeod is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Paul McLeod at

Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Contact Lauren Strapagiel at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.