Trudeau denies claim PMO pressured AG to drop SNC-Lavalin case

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The attorney general may give the director of prosecutions directives on general issues and on individual cases, provided the directives are in writing and published in the Canada Gazette, the federal register.

Wilson-Raybould was shuffled out of the justice portfolio last month, with Trudeau naming her veterans affairs minister.

The company, based in Canada's Quebec province, was charged with corruption and fraud in connection with payments of almost 36 million US dollars in bribes to public officials in the former Libyan government of late leader Muammar Gaddafi and defrauded Libyan organizations of an estimated 98 million dollars between 2001 and 2011.

In the House of Commons on Friday morning, McLeod rose to speak on the issue.

In part, that's because the attorney general in Canada wears a second hat as justice minister and, in that role, is expected to fully take part in all public-policy discussions around the cabinet table. "We congratulated her on her fantastic success".

The topic kept the Liberals hopping in Question Period. "I am bound by solicitor-client privilege in this matter", she said in a statement Friday morning. This is a construction company, by the way.

The company said it provided the prosecutor's office with information showing the objectives of the remediation provisions were "easily met", including details of SNC-Lavalin's efforts to implement a world-class ethics and compliance program, as well as the complete turnover of the company's senior management and board of directors.

During a visit to Vaughan, Ont., on Thursday, Trudeau said the allegations in the newspaper story "are false".

"They have to come clean on this", McLeod said.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said the allegations suggest Trudeau demoted his attorney general for defying his orders, and he called on the prime minister to immediately reveal what he knew about the matter.

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"His carefully crafted and legally vetted answers today fall far short in this regard", Scheer told reporters on Parliament Hill. "MPs have a duty to determine what exactly happened here and Justin Trudeau and his office must be forthcoming". The Ethics Commissioner should also investigate if Justin Trudeau was one of the recipients of the illegal donations.

"All this cries out for some serious investigation", he said in a telephone interview from Burnaby, B.C., where he's campaigning for a seat in the House of Commons in a February 25 byelection.

"If he truly wants to clear this up and believes there's been no wrongdoing, he should welcome an investigation from the ethics commissioner".

Jody Wilson-Raybould is doubtless raising anxiety levels in the Prime Minister's Office and with the prime minister himself.

As attorney general, Wilson-Raybould could have become involved in the case against the company by directing federal prosecutors to negotiate a "remediation agreement", a way of holding an organization to account for wrongdoing without a formal finding of guilt. In any of those meetings was the subject of the criminal prosecution of that company ever discussed, yes or no?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Veterans Affairs Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould at a swearing in ceremony on January 14, 2019.

Asked whether he or his office had applied any influence or pressure on the minister, Trudeau repeated they had never directed Wilson-Raybould or Lametti to intervene.

"Messing with the administration of justice is not just bad politics".

For the second day in a row the political opposition roasted the federal government over possible political interference. Moreover, as justice minister, Wilson-Raybould was responsible for a 2018 Criminal Code amendment at the heart of the current controversy - which specifically allowed for what's known as deferred prosecutions or remediation agreements to be negotiated rather than pursue criminal prosecutions against corporations.

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