Justin Trudeau asked me to "help out" with SNC-Lavalin: Wilson-Raybould

Justin Trudeau asked me to

"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 she looked Trudeau "in the eye", asked whether he was directing her to, and said that it was inappropriate to do so.

She said the pressure was exerted on her or her staff by 11 individuals in the Prime Minister's Office, the Privy Council Office and the Finance Minister Bill Morneau's office through approximately 10 phone calls, 10 meetings and numerous emails and text messages.

Testifying Wednesday to the House of Commons justice committee, Wilson-Raybould said she believes she was shuffled out of the justice portfolio because she refused to give in.

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.

Wilson-Raybould said she was "barraged" and subjected to "hounding" by members of the government. "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".

On Feb. 7, The Globe and Mail reported that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office attempted to press former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in the corruption and fraud prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec engineering and construction giant.

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In a meeting in December with Trudeau's then-principal secretary Gerry Butts, Wilson-Raybould said she told him that everyone needed to stop lobbying her to push for the DPA.

"Ben Chin, Minister Morneau's chief of staff, emailed my chief of staff and they arranged to talk".

And she said the fact there was a provincial election in Quebec was a major concern for the Liberal government. "He said that they have a big meeting coming up on Tuesday, and that this bad news may go public".

SNC-Lavalin, facing a criminal trial on charges of bribing Libyan officials, was seeking a so-called deferred prosecution agreement that would have allowed the firm to escape instead with a large fine. She said she was convinced the SNC-Lavalin case had prompted her demotion.

Continue to follow along and refresh the page as The Globe provides live updates during the testimony and questions from the committee. She also said senior Trudeau adviser Mathieu Bouchard asked her to consider an external legal opinion and once told her "we need to get re-elected" and couldn't afford to let SNC-Lavalin move out of the country. "They kept being, like, 'We aren't lawyers, but there has to be some solution here'".

Opposition parties pounced on Wilson-Raybould's letter to accuse Trudeau of gagging his former minister.

"In my view, these events constituted pressure to intervene in a matter and that this pressure, or political interference to intervene, was not appropriate", she told the committee. A month later she was shuffled out of the justice post. He told her that the prime minister was "going to find a way to get it done one way or the other" and that it was not good for the attorney general to be "at loggerheads" with the prime minister.

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