Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick has delivered his second and sometimes terse round of testimony on the SNC-Lavalin scandal, in which he denied accusations he is partisan, or that he ever made any threats to Jody Wilson-Raybould over her handling of the criminal case against the Quebec company, as she had alleged.
Butts presented an alternative narrative, that what had happened was basically an internal Liberal party feud, where Wilson-Raybould and the people she was talking to in the PMO interpreted the same events differently.
Since then, however, Trudeau has waived privilege and cabinet confidentiality for Wilson-Raybould and all those who dealt with her on SNC-Lavalin during her time as attorney general.
Treasury Board president Jane Philpott has resigned, the second minister to step down over a scandal that has shaken the government.
She was later stripped of her post as attorney general and eventually resigned from Trudeau's Cabinet.
Butts also said the December 18 meeting was not urgent and that all Prince was told was that he couldn't see how seeking advice from someone like former Supreme Court chief justice Beverley McLachlin constituted political interference.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cancelled his trip to Regina scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. "I am firmly convinced that nothing happened here beyond the normal operations of government".
SNC-Lavalin is accused of having paid C$47.7m (€31.6m) in bribes to Libyan officials in order to gain contracts there, and ultimately defrauded the Libyan government of C$129.8m (€86m).
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He said the push to have her seek out an external opinion from the likes of retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin was also motivated by the novelty of the DPA, only legalized by the Liberal government last summer.
So, no hard feelings, no pointing fingers or anything, but if that witch Wilson-Raybould had just shut up, sat down, and done as she was told by the people who matter, we wouldn't be in this stinking mess to begin with. It was clear that he arrived in that committee room, which feels oddly subterranean despite being a huge space located on the fourth floor of a slickly refurbished government building, acutely aware that it would be politically disastrous for him to look like he was impugning Wilson-Raybould in any way.
A former top aide to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denied on Wednesday inappropriately pressuring a Cabinet member to help a major company as Trudeau planned to address a scandal that is threatening his prospects in an October election.
Trudeau ultimately moved Wilson-Raybould to Veterans Affairs, and Butts said that days later, Wilson-Raybould accused them of being punishing her for refusing to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case.
Through his testimony, Butts framed the conflict between Wilson-Raybould and the Prime Minister's Office as a "breakdown in trust" precipitated by the January cabinet shuffle. "They have a very secure financial situation, with gross revenues of $10 billion", she said.
Butts also testified that he and Wilson-Raybould were getting up from their December dinner meeting at the Chateau Laurier a year ago when she raised the subject of SNC-Lavalin. "However, a breakdown in the relationship between the former attorney general and the prime minister occurred". They came from members of Canada's largest opposition party, the Conservatives, but also from lawmakers representing Trudeau's Liberal Party and two influential left-of-center parties, the New Democratic Party and the Greens.
He welcomed the ethics investigation, which Democracy Watch has said is flawed because the commissioner, Mario Dion, was hand-picked by Mr Trudeau's cabinet, but has dismissed opposition demands for police involvement.
"I will tell the truth", Butts told the committee as he started his opening statement.