Former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke today in front of the House Committee investigating the prosecution of SNC Lavalin. She says she was pressured by several members of government to use her power as AG to issue a deferred prosecution agreement on the case.
A DPA would allow SNC Lavalin to pay a fine to the government and avoid further prosecution on charges of bribery and fraud. The Corruption of Foreign Officials Act states prosecutors “must not consider the national economic interest, the potential effect on relations with a state other than Canada or the identity of the organization or individual involved” when considering a DPA.
Wilson-Raybould says that officials from both the Prime Minister’s Office and the Privy Council Office had confronted her about the case. One of these encounters included Trudeau’s top 2 advisors: Chief of Staff Katie Telford and Primary Advisor Gerald Butts, who resigned over the matter on February. The former Justice Minister says that Butts told her there would be “no solution without interference”. Wilson-Raybould claims that in a meeting with her staff, Telford said “If Jodie is nervous, we’ll line up people to write op’ed to say what she’s doing is right”.
Wilson-Raybould said she was confident that she had given the best advice to the Prime Minister and that her role was non-partisan.
Political Scientist Stewart Prest say this incident could hurt the Trudeau government.