March 7, 2019
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that he had made mistakes in the handling of a political crisis that could dash his chances of winning re-election in October, but insisted that nothing illegal had happened.
Trudeau made his remarks to reporters in a news conference to address allegations by former justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould that officials had inappropriately pressured her to help a major construction firm avoid a criminal trial.
Following his statement, Trudeau took questions about the matter this morning at a news conference in Ottawa.
According to Reuters, some nervous Liberal lawmakers complain Trudeau’s office has taken too long to respond to a scandal that deepened last week when former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said she and her staff had been subjected to persistent pressure.
Butts told the House of Commons justice committee he had one short conversation on Dec. 5 with Wilson-Raybould about SNC-Lavalin.
“I did not and I do not see how our brief discussion on that file constituted pressure of any kind,” Butts said. “I am firmly convinced that nothing happened here beyond the normal operations of government.”
SNC-Lavalin faces trial on fraud charges relating to bribes the company is said to have offered to Libyan officials to influence the awarding of contracts between 2001 and 2011.