Several Liberal insiders have claimed that the former Attorney General and Justice Minister of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould was the original source of the SNC-Lavalin story.
The Quebec engineering and construction giant has faced legal trouble over allegations it paid millions of dollars in bribes to get government business in Libya, which would be a crime under Canadian law.
Now, following a report by the Globe and Mail, we have learned what lies behind Wilson-Raybould's dispatch to what effectively appears to be the federal Liberals' ministerial gulag, Veterans Affairs (with no disrespect meant to military veterans).
Neither Trudeau nor Wilson-Raybould nor SNC-Lavalin has immediately responded to questions from The Canadian Press about the story.
Former attorney general says she can’t publicly discuss SNC Lavalin allegations
"Mr. Speaker, at no point has the current minister of justice or the former minister of justice been directed or pressured by the prime minister or the Prime Minister's Office to make any decision on this or any other matter", Virani said.
The PMO and Lametti's office say they haven't contacted by the police, while Wilson-Raybould declined to comment. On the matter of issuing directives to the director of public prosecutions (or "DPP"), the document says: "It is appropriate for the attorney general to consult with cabinet colleagues before exercising his or her powers under the DPP Act in respect of any criminal proceedings, in order to fully assess the public policy considerations relevant to specific prosecutorial decisions".
The former federal attorney general is refusing to either sink or protect her prime minister - but it's clear the days of hugs and mutual admiration tweets are history.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters on Friday that MPs from his party, with the help of the NDP, will call an emergency meeting of the committee next week, where they'll present a motion to hear from nine members of the Trudeau inner circle. The idea behind it is that a corporation should be held to account for wrongdoing without facing a prosecution that could bankrupt the company and make innocent employees pay the price for the actions of some unethical executives.More news: Philipp Plein Reportedly Scammed Out Of $900,000 By A Fake Kanye West
"If there is any going to be any discussion from very high levels in the government to grant an exemption ... to a company when we are talking about very serious criminal prosecutions, that must be done with full transparency".
"The allegations in the Globe story this morning are false", he said at a press conference in Vaughan.
"The allegations that we are hearing in the last 24 hours are unprecedented", Scheer said.
"She's always sort of been in it for herself".More news: Dean Smith hails Aston Villa 'spirit and character' after dramatic comeback
She has refused to comment on the alleged pressure from PMO to help SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial, telling the Globe and Mail that the matter is "between me and the government as the government's previous lawyer".
Wilson-Raybould's father, Bill Wilson, said in a Facebook post Thursday that his daughter's cabinet demotion "makes sense now - ugly political sense". Will the Conservatives, who have been lobbied just as aggressively by SNC Lavalin, do the right thing, and shut down Parliament until there is a Mueller-type independent inquiry?
The fact that such directives must be done publicly is meant to constrain a justice minister from doing anything overtly political.More news: Norwegian Flight Forced To Land After Receiving Bomb Threat