Butts Testimony

CBC March 6, 2019

PM’s ex-principal secretary responds to allegations of inappropriate pressure on then-attorney general

Gerald Butts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s former top aide, testified Wednesday there was no intention on the government’s part to pressure Jody Wilson-Raybould to change her mind on the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, and official engagements were meant only to ensure she had the full facts on the impact of a potential conviction.

“I am firmly convinced that nothing happened here beyond the normal operations of government,” he told the Commons justice committee.

At all times, he said, the prime minister made it clear that the decision to prosecute or not was Wilson-Raybould’s alone to make as attorney general, but that the issue merited robust discussion and consideration because there were so many jobs at risk.

Butts said highly trained legal staff worked on the file to ensure no line was crossed in engagements with the then-attorney general. He said the objective was to underscore the impact of a prosecution, including the thousands of jobs at stake.

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