What Wilson-Raybould's testimony drives home is that she reached the conclusion that she should not intervene with the prosecution service quite early; that she emphasized to the PM and his office that her decision was final and firm; that she explicitly discouraged further discussions about revising the decision; and that the discussions stubbornly kept happening anyway, over her forceful protests.
Wilson-Raybould said bringing up the topic of elections in the province of Quebec, as it relates to the Quebec-based company, represented a red line for her. If convicted in a criminal trial, SNC-Lavalin could face a decade-long ban on bidding on any federal contracts, which are the backbone of its business.
"And that is why I am calling on Mr. Trudeau to do the right thing and to resign". He also called for a federal investigation into the possibility that government officials obstructed justice. In her view, she said, the matter was over - the deferred prosecution would not be afforded to SNC-Lavalin - but she was still being asked to take "partisan political considerations into account".
She didn't speak directly to Trudeau about SNC-Lavalin again until January 7, when he informed her he was about to move her out of the justice portfolio and she told him she believed the move was the result of her refusal to intervene in the prosecution.
Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet several days after allegations against the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) emerged, and little more than a month after she was shuffled from the justice office to veterans affairs. "The attorney general was being inappropriately pressured and when she asked for it to stop, the pressure got worse". "We'll see what other testimony is made in terms of other people who were involved in these conversations and see if their recollections were the same as the former Attorney General's were today".
She disputed that version of events, saying Trudeau only offered some vague assurance after she confronted him directly at the September 17 meeting, two weeks after Roussel had decided not to consider a remediation agreement. "We had wondered how serious this was, but to hear it was even more serious than we could've ever imagined at the level of the finance minister, the prime minister, I'm at a loss for words honestly". She said Trudeau brought up the upcoming Quebec provincial election on October 1 and him serving as a Quebec MP in their discussions.
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Wilson-Raybould said she had confronted Trudeau over what she said were persistent efforts by officials to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc evade trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials. Last week, though, his principal secretary and longtime friend Gerald Butts resigned, saying that he and his role in the affair had become a distraction.
Wilson-Raybould said that in mid-December, her chief of staff expressed concerns about possible political interference during a chat with Butts.
When Prince suggested that would be interference, Butts purportedly said, "Jess, there is no solution here that does not involve some interference". (The answer is "more so.") Wilson-Raybould's testimony has added colour to the detail already outlined before the committee by Michael Wernick, the Clerk of the Privy Council. Wilson told Global News Radio's Charles Adler.
"The decision around SNC-Lavalin was Ms. Wilson-Raybould's and hers alone", Trudeau said at short press conference.
Wilson-Raybould's testimony in front of the House of Commons justice committee were her first public remarks since allegations were published three weeks ago in The Globe and Mail that she had faced undue pressure from the Prime Minister's Office in the matter. "There were approximately 10 phone calls and 10 meetings specifically about SNC-Lavalin that I and/or my staff was a part of".
"I thought your integrity was enhanced by not quitting, by staying there, and as you've just said, maintaining the rule of law", he said.