An audio recording between former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould and the country’s top civil servant appears to vindicate Wilson-Raybould’s testimony at Justice committee: that she was unduly and inappropriately pressured to divert SNC-Lavalin’s trial for bribery and corruption charges.
Jody Wilson-Raybould recording
“I have a tool under the prosecution act I can use, I do not believe it is appropriate to use it in this case,” says Wilson-Raybould during the tense 17-minute conversation.
Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick: “OK. Alright. That’s clear. Well, he’s in a very firm mood about this so um….”
Wilson-Raybould: “Does [Prime Minister Trudeau] understand the gravity of what this potentially could mean. This is not just about saving jobs, this is about interfering with one of our fundamental institutions. This is like breaching a constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence.”
Wernick: “I don’t’’ think he sees it as that.”
Wilson-Raybould: “Well then nobody’s explaining to him Michael!”
The scandal that has engulfed the Trudeau government began on February 7, 2019 after Globe and Mail story alleged Wilson-Raybould was replaced after she failed to defer SNC-Lavalin’s charges to remediation, a new criminal code provision shoehorned into 2018 omnibus budget bill.
The Québec construction firm and two of its subsidiaries are accused of paying $48 million in bribes to Libyan officials to win contracts there between 2001 and 2011. If convicted, without a deferred prosecution agreement the company faces a 10-year bidding ban on federal contracts.
Throughout the conversation Wernick, who resigned on March 18 over the scandal, continues to talk about Trudeau’s position that “He’s quite determined, quite firm. He wants to know why (deferred prosecution agreement) route that parliament provided for isn’t being used. I think he’s going to find a way to get it done … I wanted you to be aware of that.”
After a minute or so of back-and-forth between Wernick and Wilson-Raybould, the former attorney general informs Wernick that her motivation is not only to safeguard the independence of the public prosecutor, but the PM himself.
“Michael, I have to say, including this conversation, previous conversations that I’ve had with the prime minister and many other people around him, it’s entirely inappropriate and it is political interference,” Wilson-Raybould says. “The prime minister obviously can talk to whomever he wants … but what I’m trying to do is to protect him.”
The conversation occurred on December 19th, 2018.
One month ago, The Post Millennial’s Editor-in-Chief, Ali Taghva, stressed the importance of Wilson-Raybould’s Watergate reference in her original testimony in front of the Justice Committee.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.