The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) denies conducting an ongoing investigation into allegations of obstruction of justice involving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet in relation to the SNC-Lavalin bribery scandal. Democracy Watch, a non-profit advocacy group, initially claimed that an investigation was underway, but the RCMP issued a statement refuting these claims.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) recently found themselves embroiled in a controversy surrounding allegations of obstruction of justice against Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet members. The allegations stemmed from their involvement in the SNC-Lavalin bribery scandal that unfolded four years ago. Initially, Democracy Watch, a non-profit advocacy group, claimed that an ongoing investigation was underway. However, the RCMP swiftly denied these allegations, sparking a wave of confusion and contradictory statements.
RCMP Denies Investigation into Allegations of Obstruction of Justice
Democracy Watch’s Claims and RCMP’s Response
Democracy Watch, through its co-founder Duff Conacher, filed an Access to Information Act (ATIA) request with the RCMP in July 2022, seeking information about the SNC-Lavalin affair and its potential connection to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. According to Democracy Watch, the response letter they received from the RCMP, dated May 25, 2023, confirmed that an investigation into the allegations of obstruction of justice had been launched. However, the letter was heavily redacted, with 86 pages completely withheld due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
The RCMP swiftly responded to the claims made by Democracy Watch, issuing a statement denying any ongoing investigation into political interference in the trial of SNC-Lavalin. They emphasized that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate a criminal offense and stated that the file had been concluded after a thorough assessment.
Wilson-Raybould’s Testimony and Trudeau’s Denial
Jody Wilson-Raybould, Trudeau’s former attorney general, played a pivotal role in bringing the allegations to light. In early 2019, she testified before Canada’s justice committee, alleging that Trudeau and other high-ranking Liberal officials had pressured her for months to intervene directly in the criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin. Wilson-Raybould claimed that her refusal to grant the company a deferred prosecution agreement had led to her subsequent reassignment.
Trudeau and his cabinet firmly denied being under investigation by the RCMP. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Trudeau had previously been found in violation of federal ethics laws related to his involvement in pressuring Wilson-Raybould.
RCMP’s Response and Democracy Watch’s Criticism
The RCMP’s recent statement regarding the SNC-Lavalin affair drew criticism from Democracy Watch. The advocacy group labeled the statement as “weirdly vague” and questioned the inconsistencies it presented. They pointed out that the RCMP’s response letter from May 25, 2023, confirmed an ongoing investigation, yet the RCMP claimed that the matter had been concluded in January 2023.
Democracy Watch urged the RCMP to address these discrepancies by answering the questions raised and fully disclosing the redacted 86 pages. They emphasized the need for clarity and transparency in order to resolve the confusion surrounding the investigation.