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Sen. Tkachuk was in touch with PMO during Senate investigation into Mike Duffy

A debate is still raging over whether Conservatives on a committee reviewing Duffy’s expenses whitewashed their report into the matter.

The Conservative senator who chaired the committee looking into Sen. Mike Duffy’s expenses says he had discussions with the prime minister’s office during the investigation.

“We’d have general discussions, they were interested in political consequences,” Sen. David Tkachuk, chair of the Senate’s internal economy committee, said in an interview with Global News.

But Tkachuk denied the report was whitewashed and said changes were made to Duffy’s report because he’d paid back his expenses.

“Changes were made…because Senator Duffy repaid the money,” he said.

Read more: Sen. Mike Duffy breaks his silence

It was recently revealed the prime minister’s former chief of staff wrote a personal cheque to cover $90, 000 in Duffy’s improperly claimed expenses – a matter now under investigation by the ethics commissioner. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has denied knowing anything about it.

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Accusations that the Conservative-heavy committee sanitized a report on Duffy have been swirling after a draft report showed sections had been removed and the final report went easier on the senator than it did on senators Patrick Brazeau and Mac Harb.

“No whitewash, no nothing,” said Tkachuk.

“Senator Duffy received no preferential treatment. He suffered the same consequences as the other two.”

Tkachuk said he takes full responsibility for the report.

Read More: Harper says he didn’t know about chief of staff’s $90K payment to Duffy

Meanwhile, the investigation into the the questionable expense claims of several senators continued to rampt up Thursday. Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella says the RCMP’s sensitive and international anti-corruption unit is now examining the claims of senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb and Patrick Brazeau.

In a letter to Gary O’Brien, the Clerk of the Senate, the RCMP asked for documents related to the Senate’s travel and expenses policies in order to determine if there are grounds to commence a criminal investigation.

-With files from the Canadian Press.

Related video below: Harper on the Senate spending scandal

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