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Canada  

Criminal probe of PM?

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says the federal ethics commissioner's stinging conclusions about Justin Trudeau's handling of the SNC-Lavalin affair appear to align with a criminal offence.

Speaking in St. Catharines, Ont., Scheer says he's asked the head of the Mounties to take another look at the prime minister's actions to determine whether he violated the Criminal Code for obstructing justice.

"Today, in light of both the ethics commissioner's findings and the revelations about the RCMP's previous involvement, I have formally requested the RCMP take another look," Scheer told a news conference Monday.

"This shocking conclusion against a sitting prime minister appears to align with Sec. 139 of the Criminal Code defining obstruction of justice."

Scheer shared a letter he wrote to RCMP commissioner Brenda Lucki in which he urged her to use all the resources at her disposal to investigate the matter. It's the second time he's made such a request, the first being at the height of the controversy back in February.

Last week, a report by ethics watchdog Mario Dion concluded that Trudeau violated the Conflict of Interest Act by improperly pressuring former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to stop a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on corruption charges.

Dion concluded that Trudeau's attempts to influence Wilson-Raybould on the matter contravened the act, which prohibits public office holders from using their position to try to influence a decision that would improperly further the private interests of a third party.

Trudeau has said he disagrees with some of Dion's findings and he has refused to apologize for his actions, insisting he was "standing up for Canadian jobs."

He's also said he takes "full responsibility" for what occurred and has promised to create a new protocol for ministers, staff and bureaucrats when discussing a specific prosecution with the attorney general.

Wilson-Raybould said in a statement that the RCMP contacted her last spring "regarding matters that first came to the public's attention on Feb. 7." It was in apparent reference to the Globe and Mail report that said Trudeau's aides pressed her to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case and help it avoid prosecution through a plea-bargain-type deal.

She declined further comment on the content of her discussions with the Mounties.



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