Let Her Speak: Legal opinions are fact-specific and nobody knows the facts
Jody Wilson-Raybould has good reason to believe she would be the subject of a legal witch hunt the moment she dares to wade into a grey area with respect to privilege.
Such is the fate, it seems, of whistleblowers in Canada.
The second-in-command of Canada’s navy was quickly and quietly fired, Trudeau sent out a wink and a nudge for his prosecution, and his defence lawyer is being refused access to her own client’s emails.
All this for the sake of helping Liberal friends at Irving Shipbuilding, a matter that eventually led to Scott Brison’s resignation.
You may remember that as the event that Trudeau blamed for the cabinet shuffle when he fired the attorney general for the sake of helping Liberal friends at SNC-Lavalin.
These two cases became even more intertwined when Conservative MP Lisa Raitt asked Michael Wernick how Gerald Butts was able to access his emails so quickly while Mark Norman was going to court for the same thing.
In come the commentators
Let’s shift the focus back on the SNC-Lavalin matter. We now have all sorts of legal experts and partisan Liberals insisting that it was open to Wilson-Raybould to say whatever she wanted this whole time!
Even Judy Sgro, a former Liberal immigration minister who was investigated for fast-tracking a stripper’s visa in what became known as “strippergate”, put the blame on Wilson-Raybould for the ‘drip-drip’ way that this scandal has unfolded.
Legal experts, who present convincing arguments to the public about parliamentary privilege, will know that there are always facts that will change a legal opinion, and that it is impossible to predict a final legal outcome with certainty before it is heard by the highest court in the land.
A fundamental problem with these arguments about parliamentary privilege is that, unlike Wilson-Raybould’s former Supreme Clerk Judge counsel, none of them really know all of the facts.
That was the whole point of all these shenanigans, wasn’t it?
Even knowing the facts, is former Justice Cromwell supposed to advise his client to take on a risk?
While the government fights to keep Vice-Admiral Norman away from his own emails?
When the government is willing to count a false result of parliamentary votes despite video evidence to the contrary?
The fact is, laws apply to facts. Until we have all of those facts, the legal experts simply are not able to properly apply the laws to them.