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The unreported bombshell conspiracy evidence in the Trudeau/SNC-Lavelin scandal

No, double-wow.

A game-changing bombshell lies buried in the supplementary evidence provided to the House of Commons Judiciary Committee by former Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould.

It has gone virtually unreported since she submitted the material almost a week ago. As far as we can find, only one journalist-- Andrew Coyne, columnist for the National Post--- has even mentioned it and even then he badly missed what it meant, burying it in paragraph 10 of a 14 paragraph story.

The gist of the greatest political scandal in modern Canadian history is well-known by now. It's bigger than Adscam, the revelation 15 years ago that prominent members of the Liberal Party of Canada and the party itself funneled tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks into their own pockets from federal spending in Quebec sponsoring ads promoting Canadian unity. That was just venal politicians and a crooked political party helping themselves to public money.

The Trudeau-Snc-Lavalin scandal is so much more, involving the corruption of the supposedly non-partisan civil service, and even the judiciary, for the political benefit of a disgraced political party, and a cover-up endorsed, encouraged and actively engaged in by the sitting Members of Parliament of that  political party.

A Gang of Four---Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Bill Morneau,  Trudeau's former principal secretary, Gerald Butts, and Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick---undertook a months-long conspiracy together and with others to thwart the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, a major engineering company, by getting the charges dropped and replaced by a plea deal.

Contemporary notes presented to the judiciary committee reveal that privately the conspirators said they needed it done to shore up Liberal Party fortunes in elections in Quebec and arguably in the rest of the country in the 2019 federal vote.

But they ran into an unexpected roadblock. Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould refused to play ball. 

She would not, she told them, interfere in the case by overruling the director of public prosecutions no matter how much they coaxed, cajoled or tried to browbeat her into changing her mind.  She stood her ground despite weeks of relentless pressure. And relentless it was, as conspirator Butts testified they intended to press for a plea deal even up to the day any verdict was expected.  Co-conspirator Warnick told the AG that the Prime Minister intended to get it done one way or another and she should consider what that meant for her future in her post.

The Liberal-dominated Judiciary Committee held a charade of a hearing into the allegations of political interference in a criminal prosecution, then shut it down after hearing twice from Butts and Warnick but preventing the former attorney-general  from responding to their allegations.

Which brings us to the ticking-timebomb-evidence the committee and the public didn't get to hear.

In between the appearances by Butts and Warnick, Wilson-Raybould testified to getting a report from her chief of staff who had had a meeting with Butts and Trudeau's chief of staff Katie Telford. They aggressively pushed the attorney general to get an "outside" opinion from someone like the retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, on dropping the criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin in favour of a non-criminal plea deal. 

Wilson-Raybould took contemporary notes of what her staff member told her.

"My COS (chief of staff...ed) asked what if the opinion comes saying "She can review it, but she shouldn't" or simply "She can't review it" end of story?  Mr. Butts stated "It wouldn't say that."


Read what Butts said again.  And again. And again.


The implication of that statement screams out at you: The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Beverley McLachlin was in on it.  She was part of the conspiracy to interfere in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin!

It's obvious that the Trudeau conspirators wouldn't be suggesting an outside opinion without knowing in advance what that opinion would be.  They went to McLachlin, she said she would give the opinion they wanted, and all they needed was to convince the attorney general to get off her high horse and listen to her superior legal mind.

But the implications of this are immense. What other approaches did the Liberals make to McLachlin -- when she was still on the bench? How close is their relationship? What other cases might she have welcomed interference in? 

Did McLachlin talk with former Former Supreme Court of Canada judge Frank Iacobucci, who is one of the lawyers on SNC-Lavalin’s defence team, before arriving at her opinion? Was she going to tell the attorney general that?

The involvement of a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the conspiracy to interfere in a criminal prosecution demands a full public inquiry into the Trudeau/SNC-Lavalin scandal.

Butts knows how incendiary this evidence is. 

In his supplementary material to the committee, he said the attorney general's chief of staff "implied we could engineer a desired outcome by influencing third party advice. As I said in my testimony, that was not what I meant at all. I said that I didn't see how getting advice from someone like retired Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin constituted political interference."

But that's not what Jody Wilson-Raybould's chief of staff said. 

She never implied Butts could influence McLachlin.  She reported that Butts already knew what McLachlin would NOT say, and that it would NOT support the attorney general's refusal to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case. 

If there's one thing we've learned so far in this scandal, it's that the words of the conspirators cannot be trusted to be true. In fact, the former attorney general's notes foreshadowed Butts' attempt to confuse the issue.

"Mr. Butts stated "It wouldn't say that." My COS informed me that she remembered this very clearly because this response made her nervous." wrote Wilson-Raybould.

She also revealed in her supplementary notes that Butts came prepared to argue that political interference in a criminal prosecution was not unusual. He cited the case of David Milgaard's mother, who was rebuffed by the then attorney general Kim Campbell when trying to raise her son's case outside of court. His mother then spoke with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, said Butts, who ordered Campbell to intervene in Milgaard's appeal. 

What Butts didn't count on was that Jody Wilson-Raybould would immediately phone Kim Campbell.

"She categorically denied what Mr. Butts had said and was quite offended and outraged by the comments. She adamently denied the characterization not only of her as the AG but of her former boss PM Mulroney," wrote Wilson-Raybould.

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