Fresh documents keep up pressure on Trudeau over scandal
OTTAWA (Reuters) – A former cabinet member at the heart of a crisis that could cost Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau his job on Friday released documents to back up her case that she had been pressured to help a large corporation avoid a corruption trial.
Trudeau has been on the defensive since Feb. 7 over allegations that officials inappropriately leaned on former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould last year to ensure construction company SNC-Lavalin Group Inc escaped a trial by paying a fine instead.
The crisis may well threaten Trudeau’s reelection chances in a vote this October. Polls show his center-left Liberals, who as recently as January looked certain to win, could lose to the official opposition Conservatives.
Wilson-Raybould made public around 40 pages of documents revealing more details of what she said were attempts by officials to force her change her mind even after she insisted they desist.
Wilson-Raybould, who was demoted to veterans affairs minister in January and resigned the following month, first made the allegations in almost four hours of testimony to the House of Commons justice committee last month.