"In response, I explained to him the law, and what I have the ability to do and not do under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act around issuing directives or assuming the conduct of prosecutions". She said he backtracked and responded "no, no".
Wilson-Raybould's appearance before the committee marked her first public comments on the scandal, which has become the biggest crisis of Trudeau's administration.
The waiver given to Wilson-Raybould to speak about her time as attorney general also applies to others in government with whom she spoke about the SNC-Lavalin prosecution.
Trudeau has said Wilson-Raybould was not directed or improperly pressured to do anything for the company. She laid out discussions with 11 senior government officials, not including her and her staff, which she viewed as improper. According to contemporaneous notes taken after each interaction, Wilson-Raybould recalled 10 phone calls and 10 meetings regarding the case. "Within these conversations, there were express statements regarding the necessity of interference within the SNC-Lavalin matter, the potential of consequences, and veiled threats if a DPA was not made available for SNC".
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Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould says she was the target of a months-long campaign by senior Trudeau government officials urging her to intervene in the criminal case against SNC-Lavalin.
"Ben Chin, Minister Morneau's chief of staff, emailed my chief of staff and they arranged to talk". SNC-Lavalin is based in the province of Quebec, where the Liberals say they need to pick up more seats to stand a chance of retaining a majority government.
SNC-Lavalin, facing charges of bribing Libyan officials, was seeking a so-called deferred prosecution agreement that would have allowed the firm to escape with a large fine.
Wilson-Raybould said that in mid-December, her chief of staff expressed concerns about possible political interference during a chat with Butts. She told the committee she had concerns that she was shuffled because of her refusal to extend a DPA to SNC-Lavalin, though was told by the PMO that this was not accurate.
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However, in a letter to the committee Tuesday, Wilson-Raybould warned that the waiver "falls short of what is required" for her to fully tell her side of the story.
Wilson-Raybould was testifying about a newspaper report that she was pressured by senior officials a year ago to help SNC-Lavalin Group Inc avoid a corruption trial. "They kept being, like, 'We aren't lawyers, but there has to be some solution here'". Ms. Wilson-Raybould resigned five days later.
There were efforts to have her go outside to get legal advice - something legal expert Mary-Ellen Turpel-Lafond earlier told the committee would be an unheard of interference in prosecutorial discretion. Wernick said he was informing the minister of "context" surrounding her decision on the company but insisted it was not inappropriate pressure. A month later she was shuffled out of the justice post.
In her testimony, Wilson-Raybould said the decision not to pursue such an agreement was made in September, but she and her staff heard repeatedly from Trudeau's office and Morneau's office after that, trying to find ways to help SNC-Lavalin.
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