Gerald Butts gives correspondence with Jody Wilson-Raybould to committee probing SNC-Lavalin affair
|National Post 31 Mar 2019 at 16:20|
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former principal secretary Gerald Butts says he has provided notes and text messages to the House of Commons justice committee in response to evidence filed last week by former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould on the ongoing SNC-Lavalin controversy.
In a tweet published today, Butts says he has handed over notes and texts between himself and Wilson-Raybould after having reviewed the materials she submitted last week.
On Friday, the justice committee released a 43-page brief from Wilson-Raybould, which includes emails and text messages, as well as a 17-minute audio clip of a secretly-recorded telephone call between herself and Michael Wernick, the country’s top public servant.
In the Dec. 19 call, Wernick repeatedly asks Wilson-Raybould why she isn’t using all tools at her disposal on the SNC-Lavalin case, but she pushes back saying she would not override the decision of the director of public prosecutions to pursue criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin for bribery and fraud.
Wernick told her the prime minister is “quite determined” on the matter and would likely “find a way to get it done one way or another.”
Butts, who resigned as Trudeau’s principle secretary last month, told the justice committee he believes nobody from the Prime Minister’s Office did anything wrong and that Wilson-Raybould never complained about facing improper pressure on the case.
Butts submitted the additional material to support his own version of events to the committee on Sunday. The documents must be translated into French and their release approved by panel members before public release.
Chairman Anthony Housefather said Sunday he was not exactly sure how long this process could take, but said it would normally be a day or two.
Speaking in Brampton, Ont., Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said Butts’ latest action shows the Liberal government was too quick to shut down the justice committee investigation into whether undue political pressure was brought to bear on the attorney general over prosecuting SNC-Lavalin.
“Beyond a shadow of a doubt now, we know that there was high-level attempt to interfere in this process,” Scheer said. “Now we’re calling on the ethics committee to allow an investigation to proceed.”
It s hard to come up with a clear profile. It s a fairly diverse group that crosses income and education lines
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