August 16, 2019 4:35 pm
Updated: August 19, 2019 9:02 am

Wilson-Raybould says she was contacted by RCMP amid SNC-Lavalin scandal

WATCH: Former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould has revealed she spoke with the RCMP over the SNC-Lavalin affair.

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Former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould says she spoke with the RCMP in the midst of the SNC-Lavalin scandal after the police force reached out to her.

In an interview with The West Block’s Mercedes Stephenson, set to air in full on Sunday, Wilson-Raybould said she has not been contacted since ethics commissioner Mario Dion released a damning report last week that found Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his staff repeatedly broke ethics rules by pressuring her to intervene in the company’s court case.

But she said she had been contacted earlier on.

READ MORE: RCMP are ‘carefully’ reviewing SNC-Lavalin affair. What exactly are they looking at?

“I haven’t been contacted by the RCMP since they issued their statement but I will say that I have been contacted by the RCMP and that occurred last spring,” Wilson-Raybould said.

“I’m not at liberty to talk about what we spoke about. That’s confidential, so I’ll leave it at that.”

She added she is not aware of whether the force has contacted anyone else.

WATCH: More details have emerged about the SNC-Lavalin affair after the ethics commissioner said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pushed too far to get the company a special deal


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The SNC-Lavalin scandal began in February 2019 after the Globe & Mail reported senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office had pressured Wilson-Raybould to override the decision of the director of public prosecutions against offering the Quebec company a deal to avoid criminal trial.

Trudeau initially declared the report “false.”

But explosive testimony by Wilson-Raybould before the House of Commons justice committee shortly afterwards laid out a description of what she called a campaign of inappropriate pressure from Trudeau and 10 of his senior staff to get her to intervene and save the company from going to court.

SNC-Lavalin is charged with corruption and fraud for allegedly bribing officials in the regime of former Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddhafi between 2001 and 2011.

Dion’s investigation into the allegations validated the allegations made by Wilson-Raybould, stating that Trudeau broke the Conflict of Interest Act by using his position to advocate for third-party private interests and by having his staff do the same.

READ MORE: Trudeau broke ethics rules by trying to exert influence in SNC-Lavalin scandal: report

WATCH: Will Trudeau breaking ethics rules on SNC affect voters?

Trudeau has said he takes “full responsibility” for how the situation was handled but refuses to apologize, insisting he did nothing wrong by what he describes as protecting Canadian jobs.

Following the release of Dion’s report on Wednesday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called for an RCMP investigation into whether Trudeau’s interference amounted to an attempt to obstruct justice.

RCMP issued a statement following the release of the report and said it was looking into the issue.

“The RCMP is examining this matter carefully with all available information and will take appropriate actions as required,” spokesperson Chantal Payette said in a statement to Global News. “It would be inappropriate for us to provide anymore comments on this matter at this time.”

Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Michael Spratt spoke with Global News on Friday and said he suspects any RCMP investigation would likely examine the issue of whether there was obstruction of justice.

“It’s not clear that Trudeau didn’t obstruct justice,” Spratt said. “But it’s far from clear whether there would be any reasonable prospect of conviction.”

WATCH: (Aug. 15, 2019) Jody Wilson-Raybould reacts to SNC-Lavalin ethics report

The Criminal Code forbids anyone “to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice in a judicial proceeding,” or to engage in any conduct with the intent of provoking fear in the attorney general.

Wilson-Raybould was asked during her committee testimony in February whether she thought any of the pressure placed upon her amounted to illegal acts.

At the time, she said no.

When asked by Global News whether that’s still her opinion, Wilson-Raybould

“I can only pass judgment on what I know, information I have been privy to,” she said.

“Certainly I look to the RCMP to continue to do their job however they deem appropriate, but since the report of the ethics commissioner has come to light, which had for me some revelations in it, I’m sure they will take the course of action again that they deem appropriate.”

Global News asked the Prime Minister’s Office whether anyone there has been contacted by RCMP.

Officials there said no one has contacted either their staff or any legal representatives for staff in the office.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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