MP Tony Cle­ment’s ex­tor­tion-story time frame is dis­puted by two women

Calls into ques­tion if he ful­filled his le­gal obli­ga­tion in re­la­tion to his se­cu­rity clear­ance

StarMetro Toronto - - CANADA & WORLD - Alex Ballingall and Alex Boutilier

OT­TAWA—TWO women who claim to have had in­ti­mate re­la­tion­ships with Tony Cle­ment — one on­line, one in per­son — say the ousted Con­ser­va­tive par­lia­men­tar­ian was aware of at­tempts to ex­pose his al­legedly in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour to­ward women as early as last spring or sum­mer.

These ac­counts seem to con­tra­dict Cle­ment’s ini­tial pub­lic state­ment about when he be­came aware of an al­leged at­tempt to ex­tort him. They also call into ques­tion whether, given his po­si­tion on Par­lia­ment’s new na­tional se­cu­rity com­mit­tee, he ful­filled his le­gal obli­ga­tion at the time to no­tify the Privy Coun­cil Of­fice about whether his per­sonal cir­cum­stances changed in a way that could af­fect his se­cu­rity clear­ance.

Un­til Tues­day, Cle­ment was a lead­ing mem­ber of the Con­ser­va­tive cau­cus who had twice jumped into the race to lead the party and served prom­i­nent cab­i­net roles un­der Stephen Harper.

Wed­nes­day, Con­ser­va­tive Leader An­drew Scheer re­quested Cle­ment’s res­ig­na­tion. The de­mand came less than a day af­ter Cle­ment pub­lished a state­ment claim­ing he was tar­geted for “fi­nan­cial ex­tor­tion” af­ter send­ing sex­ual im­ages and a video to an un­known party. Cle­ment says he be­lieved the per­son was a con­sent­ing fe­male adult.

The Star has in­ter­viewed two women who say they met Cle­ment on­line and went on to have sex­ual in­ter­ac­tions with him. Both women, who know each other and con­sulted about speak­ing pub­licly, asked the Star not to pub­lish their names — one out of con­cern over Cle­ment’s re­ac­tion to her speak­ing pub­licly about him; the other be­cause she feared ram­i­fi­ca­tions in her pro­fes­sional life.

The Star has agreed to keep their iden­ti­ties con­fi­den­tial in or­der to tell their sto­ries in the pub­lic in­ter­est, as Cle­ment was a se­nior Con­ser­va­tive fig­ure with high-level se­cu­rity clear­ance.

When pre­sented with a de­tailed ac­count of the women’s claims Wed­nes­day night, Cle­ment re­sponded by email: “I’m work­ing on a state­ment that I’ll get to you when I’m com­fort­able with it.”

In a state­ment posted to his per­sonal web­site, Cle­ment con­firmed he en­gaged in mul­ti­ple “in­ap­pro­pri­ate ex­changes that crossed lines that should have never been crossed.” He said these ex­changes led to “acts of in­fi­delity.” One of these ex­changes led to a woman be­ing of­fered money by an anony­mous so­cial me­dia ac­count in ex­change for per­sonal in­for­ma­tion about him, he said.

He said he re­ported this to the OPP “last sum­mer.” He added that, “most re­cently, an­other in­ap­pro­pri­ate ex­change led to for­eign ac­tors at­tempt­ing to use my in­dis­cre­tion for fi­nan­cial ex­tor­tion” and that he im­me­di­ately re­ported this to the RCMP. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, two women say they met with for­mer Con­ser­va­tive MP Tony Cle­ment on­line and went on to have sex­ual in­ter­ac­tions with him.


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