Jody Wilson-Raybould, the first Indigenous woman to serve as Attorney's General and Minister of Justice, stepped away from serving as a Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville. After being name-dropped several times at the English language Leaders Debate, Raybould's new memoir, " 'Indian' in the Cabinet: Speaking Truth to Power," may sink the prime minister she served chance's at staying in power. Her memoir is set to be published this coming Tuesday.
The full excerpt, published in The Globe and Mail, can be read here.
Situated three days after Robert Fife broke the initial story on what would become the SNC-Lavalin Scandal or Lavascam, Raybould reminds us that Trudeau said then that "the allegations in the Globe story this morning are false. Neither the current nor the previous attorney-general was ever directed by me or anyone in my office to decide this matter."
Raybould described the Liberal government's response as a "case study in hubris – at once both surprised that they had been caught and offended that anyone could think they would ever do anything wrong."
The first of three 'private meetings' between Raybould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, amid a smoldering media firestorm, marked the first communication of any kind between the two since the story broke. These meetings would prompt Raybould's resignation from cabinet and her eventual ejection from the Liberal caucus.
In this meeting, Trudeau stated that "[he] didn't think that [Raybould] leaked the story to [the Globe], unless [Raybould] told him otherwise." Raybould wrote that she 'started softly', but eventually 'got to the heart of the matter: "Since you brought it up, I did not leak the story, and it is absurd and offensive you would suggest that."
Devastatingly for Trudeau, she concludes, "There is no question in my mind that the Prime Minister knew there attempts to pressure me to avoid criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, and while those attempts failed, they were wrong, and he knew it. Instead of simply addressing the issue publicly and accurately, the government [sent] out talking heads... I told him that he should be telling Canadians the truth."
The conversation continued, Raybould writing that "Trudeau made it clear that everyone in his office was telling the truth and that I, and by extension Jessica Prince, my chief of staff, and others were not. He told me that I had not experienced what I said I did... that I had "experienced things differently."
Raybould concludes with devastating candor: "I knew what he was really asking, what he was saying. At that moment, I knew he wanted me to lie."
Trudeau was asked about that on the campaign trail today and flatly denied the allegations.
Raybould also alleged that the RCMP was still looking into the actions of the Trudeau government as late as January 2021: "At the time of writing this book, the RCMP continued to scrutinize this matter with all available information," mirroring the RCMP statement issued in August 2019, the force's only statement on the matter to date.
The RCMP has been silent on the suggestions that it has launched an investigation into Justin Trudeau for possible obstruction of justice for the 'pressure' he allegedly exerted on Wilson-Raybould to grant SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) on charges of fraud and bribery.