Canada's former attorney general testified Wednesday she experienced a consistent and sustained effort by many people in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to inappropriately interfere in the prosecution of a major Canadian engineering company and said the effort included "veiled threats".
If convicted criminally, the company would be banned from receiving any federal government business for a decade.
Justice Minister Sonia Lebel say it was crucial that politicians uphold the legal and legislative system, sometimes at the expense of corporations. "We know that there are many factors that go into decisions like that", Trudeau said in Saint-Hubert, Quebec.
Trudeau initially dismissed the allegations as "false" but has since said that, while he did discuss the SNC-Lavalin prosecution with Wilson-Raybould, the decision on the prosecution of the company was "hers alone" to make.
Wilson-Raybould's response continued to be that she was doing her job as the attorney general, and upholding the integrity of the office.
The hearings centre around the multi-billion dollar Quebec engineering firm and whether the former attorney general was pressured to drop a criminal prosecution against them.
Wilson-Raybould remains a member of Trudeau's Liberal party in Parliament.
The shuffle marks the end of a tumultuous week for the prime minister.
In the National Post, columnist Andrew Coyne said Ms Wilson-Raybould's testimony suggested "an attitude that appears to pervade this government: that the law is not an institution to be revered, but just another obstacle to get around, by whatever means necessary".
"Where they became very clearly inappropriate was when political issues came up, like the election in Quebec, like losing the election were SNC to move its headquarters".
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In a CBC radio interview, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said caucus is a "broad church" that accommodates diverse views.
Trudeau said Wednesday he won't resign and has essentially dismissed his former minister's testimony as a fabrication.
However, one Liberal backbencher, British Columbia MP Jati Sidhu, told Abbotsford News that Wilson-Raybould is not a team player, that her father (himself a prominent Indigenous leader) might be "pulling the strings" and that her behaviour suggests she "couldn't handle the stress".
Wilson-Raybould said that in mid-December, her chief of staff expressed concerns about possible political interference during a chat with Butts. He said the prime minister no longer had the "moral authority" to lead the country.
The former attorney-general identified a series of phone calls and meetings between her or her staff, and Trudeau or several of his top advisers.
Trudeau said he had not yet heard Wilson-Raybould's full testimony, but that once he does he will decide if she will remain a member of the Liberal party. "So, he is in that kind [of] mood and I wanted you to be aware of that".
Wilson-Raybould disputed that version of events, saying Trudeau only offered vague assurance after she confronted him directly at the September 17 meeting, two weeks after Roussel had decided not to consider a remediation agreement.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at the Global Progress luncheon sponsored by the Center for American Progress March 11, 2016, in Washington, D.C. Trudeau is facing calls to resign over the SNC-Lavalin scandal plaguing his administration.
When asked if he agreed he or someone in his office or cabinet should resign, Trudeau said Canadians will have a choice about who they want to be prime minister and form government in the October 21 general election.
Trudeau said the RCMP has not contacted him or other government officials about the affair.