Trudeau says if Scott Brison hadn’t quit, Jody Wilson-Raybould would still be justice minister

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that if former Treasury Board president Scott Brison had not left his position in December, Jody Wilson-Raybould would not have been shuffled to veterans affairs.

“If Scott Brison had not stepped down from cabinet, Jody Wilson Raybould would still be minister of justice and attorney general,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau was in Ottawa Friday at a Blackberry announcement.

But the questions from reporters dealt with the issue that has consumed the Liberal party, Trudeau and Prime Minister’s Office.

Allegations surfaced last week that the PMO pressured Wilson-Raybould to intervene in a criminal case involving Quebec engineering gian SNC-Lavalin.

The Globe and Mail newspaper suggested in its report this was the reason why she was surprisingly demoted from justice minister to veterans affairs last month.

At the news conference, Trudeau continued to pass the issue to Wilson-Raybould.

“If the minister or anyone else felt undue pressure or felt we were not living up to our own high standards of the defence of the rule of law in our judicial system, our judicial independence, it was their responsibility to come forward,” Trudeau repeated.

“And at no time in the fall, did the former attorney general come forward to me and make those comments.”

In January, Wilson-Raybould accepted the cabinet shuffle over to veterans affairs.

But shortly after, in an unusual move for a minister who has been shuffled, Wilson-Raybould released a letter outlining her accomplishments while holding the justice and attorney general portfolio.

On Monday evening, she tendered her resignation.

She has not spoken about the SNC Lavalin issue publicly citing solicitor client privilege.

Trudeau has been asked to waive the solicitor client privilege for this case. He said he has asked current Minister of Justice David Lametti for legal advice.

Wilson-Raybould who is a former Crown attorney, and Assembly of First Nations regional chief for B.C., has retained the legal counsel of Thomas Cromwell.


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