Former Conservative MP Tony Clement, dropped from caucus over a sexting scandal, is admitting to multiple cases of “inappropriate exchanges” online and says foreign actors tried to financially extort him.
For the first time, the Ontario MP is also admitting that he had to contact police not once, but twice.
In a letter posted to his website on Thursday, one day after Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked him to leave the Tory caucus, Clement said that “during a period of personal difficulty and weakness I engaged in inappropriate exchanges that crossed lines that should never have been crossed.”
“These exchanges led to acts of infidelity,” he wrote.
“One inappropriate exchange led to a woman being offered money by an anonymous social media account in exchange for the disclosure of intimate and personal information.”
Clement said he reported that case to the OPP last summer.
He goes on to write about another “inappropriate exchange” that “led to foreign actors attempting to use my indiscretion for financial extortion.”
Sources have told CBC News that the would-be extortionist asked Clement to pay €50,000 ($75,200 Cdn) or risk seeing the images and video released publicly.
That case has since been reported to the RCMP.
Sources also told CBC News Clement flagged the alleged extortion attempt just a few days ago to the Privy Council Office — the branch of the bureaucracy that supports the prime minister and cabinet — and the special top secret national security committee he sat on until his Tuesday resignation.
“While these exchanges were entirely consensual and mutual, they were absolutely wrong and should never have occurred,” he writes.
Scheer said he only found out about the summer OPP complaint today.
“This was a shock to me,” he said today in Brampton, Ont.
Clement’s meteoric fall from the Conservative Party’s front bench started on Tuesday, when he resigned his justice critic role and positions on a number of Commons committees — including a top secret national security and intelligence committee.
The next day he was out of caucus after Scheer said he found out about “numerous reports of other incidents.”
Clement said he plans to stay on as the MP for Parry Sound – Muskoka.
With files from the CBC’s JP Tasker.