RECAP: Butts, Wernick and Drouin testimony on SNC-Lavalin
OTTAWA – Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick and Deputy Minister for Justice Nathalie Drouin have testified before the House Justice Committee on the SNC-Lavalin scandal, which centres on allegations from a former cabinet minister of political interference in a criminal case.
Their appearance followed Gerald Butts, the former principal secretary to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who spent just over two hours before the committee saying he is confident that “nothing happened” outside the normal scope of government business in regards to the SNC-Lavalin case, and that he can’t see how his or others’ interactions with Jody Wilson-Raybould on the file could constitute pressure.
Both Wernick and Drouin had already appeared before the committee, though they were repeatedly referenced in Wilson-Raybould’s Feb. 27 hours-long testimony and the committee agreed it wanted to hear more from them.
During Wernick's Feb. 21 appearance he offered off-topic opening remarks on the state of online discourse, partisanship and the prospect of political assassinations. Then, facing questioning from MPs, he offered a series of comments that the opposition saw as indicative of him crossing the line with his involvement in conversations about SNC-Lavalin. He disputed the allegations that Wilson-Raybould had not publicly addressed up to that time, saying that the pressure she felt wasn't "inappropriate,” and that those involved were providing her with “context” about the implications of the continuing criminal case.
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