Two former cabinet members kicked out of Liberal caucus

She responds with: "I guess you want me to take Jess to make room for new PMO (chief of staff) (Mathieu or elder) to support incoming PS" - apparently assuming her parliamentary secretary, Arif Virani, was going to be named justice minister and that his chief of staff would be either Mathieu Bouchard or Elder Marques - senior staffers in the Prime Minister's Office whom Wilson-Raybould has since accused of exerting inappropriate pressure on her to intervene in the SNC-Lavalin case.

Jody Wilson-Raybould delivers her opening statement as she appears at the Justice committee meeting last month.

Wilson-Raybould says she released the recording of the 17-minute conversation to the House Justice Committee in order to prove her side of the story - contrary to what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his officials have been saying, the Prime Minister and party officials were indeed pressuring her to stop criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin, instead offering the embattled engineering firm a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

"Rather than acknowledge the obvious - that a range of individuals had inappropriately attempted to pressure the former Attorney General in relation to a prosecutorial decision - and apologize for what occurred, a decision was made to attempt to deny the obvious - to attack Jody Wilson-Raybould's credibility and attempt to blame her", Philpott said.

Wilson-Raybould maintains she was improperly pressured by the Prime Minister's Office last fall to override the director of public prosecutions, who had chose to proceed with a criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin on bribery charges related to contracts in Libya, rather than negotiate a remediation agreement, a sort of plea bargain. "We've taken every effort to address their concerns".

In a letter, Wilson-Raybould acknowledged her colleagues are enraged but said she was "trying to help protect the Prime Minister and the government from a awful mess".

Both Wilson-Raybould and Philpott had remained as members of Trudeau's party in Parliament after resigning from Cabinet but kept making remarks that damaged the prime minister and the party. "However, in expelling Ms. Philpott and Ms. Wilson-Raybould from their caucus, they have done exactly that".

Trudeau, who has continued to deny any impropriety on the part of himself or his office with regards to SNC-Lavalin, said the decision to secretly record the Privy Council clerk was "unconscionable".

Toronto MP John McKay said he sees no way for either Wilson-Raybould or Philpott to stay in the Liberal caucus - he's dismayed by Wilson-Raybould's behaviour and believes she and Philpott are "joined at the hip", he said.

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"Now I know many of you are angry, hurt, and frustrated".

"Her letter, I believe, sets the stage for her run at the Liberal leadership if the Liberals lose in October and Justin Trudeau steps down", Wiseman said. "I am angry, hurt, and frustrated because I feel and believe I was upholding the values that we all committed too", she said, according to the letter tweeted by CBC News.

And it comes on the heels of a fresh uproar over a key phone conversation between the ex-minister and former Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick, the country's top bureaucrat - a conversation Wilson-Raybould secretly recorded.

JWR: So we are treading on unsafe ground here - and I am going to issue my stern warning - um - because I can not act in a manner and the prosecution can not act in a manner that is not objective, that isn't independent, I can not act in a partisan way and I can not be politically motivated.

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay called the situation "unfortunate".

The Liberal-dominated Commons justice committee voted not to call Mr Trudeau to testify over the SNC-Lavalin case.

She also explained some of the actions she took during the SNC-Lavalin affair.

The B.C. MP was moved from the attorney general and justice minister post to veterans affairs in January. Philpott quit shortly afterwards, saying she had lost confidence in how Trudeau was handling the matter.

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