Former senior Trudeau aide defends prime minister in testimony on scandal

GETTY Justin Trudeau holds a press briefing during the United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancels visit to Regina

Canada's leader is under increasing pressure after allegations emerged that he pressured the government to drop an investigation into alleged bribes paid by multinational engineering firm SNC-Lavalin to Libya. It was not about second guessing the decision.

Justin Trudeau's government never directed Canada's attorney general to intervene in a Quebec construction company's legal case but did suggest she seek an outside opinion on the matter, a former top aide said. One of those was successful last summer, when the Federal Court of Appeal tore up cabinet approval for the expansion project on the grounds of insufficient environmental and Indigenous consultations.

"Regardless of whether you believe (Wilson-Raybould) or you don't believe her, the reality is that there are stark contradictions and one of them isn't telling the full story", Conservative House Leader and justice committee member Lisa Raitt said after the meeting.

In the meeting, Wilson-Raybould told the committee that Butts said something to the effect of that there was no solution "that does not involve some interference" after being warned what was being proposed was political interference in a prosecution.

Justin Trudeau has the power to do all that and, yes, even the ability to have his new attorney general, David Lametti, let SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal charge of bribery and corruption by negotiating a deferred prosecution agreement.

Kylie Jenner Is Officially The Youngest 'Self-Made' Billionaire Ever
She credits her success to her enormous social media following which ensured her customer base before she made her first product.

Opposition members are also upset the Liberals voted down a motion to recall Jody Wilson-Raybould to committee. "However, a breakdown in the relationship between the former attorney general and the prime minister occurred".

Trudeau's Liberal government has been rocked for weeks by the snowballing scandal, which has triggered the resignation of two cabinet ministers and badly tarnished the image of the golden boy premier.

Butts disagrees on the timeline and nature of the interactions, saying that it was "inconceivable" that anyone in the Prime Minister's office would act in such a manner, and he said that no government official, Trudeau included, would "direct or ask the attorney general to negotiate a remediation agreement".

And while Wilson-Raybould said she made her final decision in mid-September to back the DPP's decision to proceed with a trial and that it was inappropriate for any lobbying to persist afterwards, Butts said he, and likely others in the PMO, only became aware of this while listening to her testimony to the committee.

Butts insists all the communications were to impress upon the AG how important SNC-Lavalin jobs were so that she would keep this factor foremost in her mind as she deliberated on whether to offer a DPA.

Trump Blames Cohen Hearing for Failure of North Korea Summit
Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) announced Monday that he would introduce a resolution to Congress that will hold North Korea and Kim Jon Un responsible for Warmbier's death.

"We know what it's like when a company or a community collapses", he said, referring to the shutdown of the coal mine operations in which thousands of people lost their jobs.

SNC-Lavalin, its worldwide arm and another subsidiary are accused of having offered $36m in bribes to Libyan officials and of defrauding the Libyan government of $96m.

Canada's ethics commissioner is investigating the affair but that will take months. But this is clear: Butts and Wernick asked to appear before the committee and chose to wear these pins as they defended their personal integrity - and Canadians decided whether to believe them. Butts, of course, never said that directly.

Butts said he was startled when he learned that Wilson-Raybould felt the secret talks had threatened the independence of the criminal justice system. "But I have to say, it's been a long time", Butts said, trailing off and pausing awkwardly for a second or two.

Ku. Busch scores second top five at Las Vegas
After a lengthy cycle, He returned to the lead with about to laps remaining in the opening stage. The last pit stop they make him a good change and he becomes the fastest auto and he wins.

Latest News