A close ally of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau testified before Parliament on Wednesday, hoping to quell a growing political scandal that has already forced three high-level resignations.
“At the end of the day, we really didn’t feel that anybody was doing anything wrong,” said Gerald Butts, a principal secretary and top aide to Trudeau. Butts abruptly stepped down last month.
At issue are allegations made by Canada’s former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, who says Trudeau and his inner circle intervened inappropriately in the criminal prosecution of a powerful engineering firm, SNC Lavalin, headquartered in Trudeau’s home city of Montréal in Quebec province. The firm is accused of an international bribery and fraud scheme worth tens of millions of dollars.
It is a perilous moment for Trudeau, in part because many of those leveling accusations against him are friends, former allies and members of his own Cabinet.