POLITICS
03/01/2019 10:49 EST | Updated 03/04/2019 21:49 EST

5 Ex-Attorneys General Call For RCMP Probe Into SNC-Lavalin Affair

Former Conservative Peter MacKay was the first to sign the letter.

The Canadian Press
Peter MacKay is seen at the Conservative party convention in Vancouver on May 27, 2016.

Five former attorneys general are calling for the RCMP to investigate "disturbing pattern of events" detailed by Jody Wilson-Raybould.

In a letter to the RCMP, former Conservative justice ministers and attorneys general Peter MacKay (2013 to 2015 and Douglas Grinslade Lewis (1989 to 1990) and provincial attorneys general Jonathan Denis (Alberta, 2012 to 2015), Cecil Clarke (Nova Scotia, 2007 to 2009) and the NDP's Colin Gabelmann (B.C., 1991 to 1995), say Wilson-Rayboud, in her testimony to the justice committee earlier this week, exposed political interference prohibited under the Criminal Code.

MacKay served as justice minister under former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper.

"'Undue pressure' was placed on former Attorney General (Wilson-Raybould) by political actors urging her to exercise her authority to overrule the director of public prosecutions," says the letter, dated Feb. 28.

drian Wyld/The Canadian Press
Former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould leaves the Justice committee in Ottawa on Feb. 27, 2019.

It references a section of the Criminal Code that prohibits attempting to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice.

"We believe that there are reasonable and probable grounds to suspect that the conduct of the Prime Minister's Office has crossed that threshold," the letter says. "In our shared view, ordinary Canadians ... have been charged under these sections with much less evidence."

On Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould detailed a "consistent and sustained effort" by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and top political staff to "inappropriately" interfere in her role as justice minister and attorney general to secure a deferred prosecution agreement and avoid a trial on corruption charges for Quebec-based engineering company SNC-Lavalin.

LARS HAGBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks to the media in Ottawa on Feb. 27, 2019.

The pressure, she said, began in September and was sustained until December. She was shuffled out of that role in early January.

"Given the subsequent chain of events that include portions of conversations that reference immense pressure and political interference and the subsequent removal of the former attorney general and justice minister from the position ... there is reason to believe that pressure and interference did occur," the letter says.

Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer has also written to the RCMP requesting they investigate.

Read the full letter the former attorneys general sent to the RCMP:

The Letter Former Attorneys General Sent To RCMP On SNC-Lavalin by HuffPost Canada on Scribd