Globe and Mail March 8, 2019
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and senior government officials attempted to use a well-known legal principle as justification for political interference in the SNC-Lavalin case, four former attorneys-general and a former deputy attorney-general say.
Mr. Trudeau, in a public statement on Thursday, said an attorney-general’s decision on a prosecution is never final. His former principal secretary, Gerald Butts, and the Clerk of the Privy Council, Michael Wernick, made the same point to the Commons justice committee on Wednesday: A settlement can be offered right up until the end of criminal proceedings.
That testimony raised the question of whether Jody Wilson-Raybould, when she was attorney-general, was obliged to be continually open to arguments for an out-of-court settlement in the case of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., the Quebec construction giant charged with fraud and corruption, a case that has led to a political earthquake in Ottawa.