Justice committee receives promised extra material from Wilson-Raybould on SNC-Lavalin

The House of Commons justice committee that shut down its probe into the SNC-Lavalin scandal last week has now received the additional information former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould vowed to share following its refusal to hear from her a second time.

Anthony Housefather, Liberal chair of the committee, confirmed in an email to Global News the documents have been received and are in the process of being translated. Earlier this morning, Housefather had said the documents had not yet been received but would be translated prior to release to the public.

Another individual with knowledge of the proceedings said Housefather had sent an email to committee members letting them know the documents had been received and that a plan for their release to members and the public was expected shortly.

Wilson-Raybould testified before the justice committee on Feb. 27, 2019.

Over the course of four hours, she laid out explosive allegations of a “consistent and sustained effort” by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his senior staff to inappropriately pressure her into agreeing to cut SNC-Lavalin a deal to avoid a criminal trial and potential conviction.

As attorney general, Wilson-Raybould was the only person who had the power to override the decision of the director of public prosecutions not to do so.

SNC-Lavalin is facing charges of corruption and fraud and could face a 10-year ban on bidding for lucrative government contracts if convicted.

The company lobbied heavily to get the Liberals to create a new legal tool called remediation or deferred prosecution agreement last year.

Such a deal would let a company admit wrongdoing and pay a fine but avoid a criminal trial.

However, SNC-Lavalin’s bid for such a deal was rejected and Wilson-Raybould told the justice committee she believes she was shuffled out of her portfolio specifically because she refused to intervene in that decision despite repeated attempts to pressure her to do so.

Several witnesses testified after Wilson-Raybould: among them, Gerald Butts.

Butts was Trudeau’s principal secretary and right-hand man up until he resigned over the allegations last month.

In his testimony, Butts argued no one in the matter did anything wrong and that Wilson-Raybould never told anyone there was any problem with the talks.

She told the committee she had made it clear on several occasions that the pressure needed to stop and that she had made up her mind.

Inconsistencies like that are why opposition members of the justice committee fought to invite her back to testify for a second time.

That privilege of rebuttal was offered to former Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick as well as Nathalie Drouin, the deputy attorney general.

But Liberals dominate the justice committee and used their majority to shut down the limited probe into the allegations last Tuesday.

Wilson-Raybould in response wrote to Housefather saying she would submit copies of the texts and emails she referenced in her testimony as evidence of pressure being placed on her and her staff by senior officials.

She also said she would provide a written response to some of the challenges made by Butts and others to her testimony.

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