OTTAWA — Mike Duffy’s lawyer is considering whether to fight for the release of a politically sensitive audit that the Senate wants kept under wraps.

News of the audit, which was commissioned in late 2012 or early 2013 when the Senate expense scandal began to unfold, surfaced Monday at Duffy’s trial in Ottawa.

The suspended senator is facing fraud, breach of trust and bribery charges and has maintained that he is innocent and did not break any rules.

The trial heard Monday that the Senate is trying to block the release of the audit which it quietly conducted into the residency status of all senators.

Duffy’s lawyer Donald Bayne and the Crown prosecutor discussed the fact that a lawyer for the Senate is claiming parliamentary privilege to keep the audit secret.

Bayne will have to decide whether it’s worth fighting to get the audit into the open, possibly through a separate legal challenge.

Senate spokesperson Nancy Durning said she could not discuss a matter that is before the courts.

The Canadian Press