EDITORIAL: Trudeau is not above the law

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It should go without saying: The Prime Minister of Canada should not be above the law.

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New evidence has emerged to indicate that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may have committed a criminal act in accepting a free Christmas vacation in 2016 to the Aga Khan’s private Bahamas island.

The Aga Khan Foundation at the time received federal money for some of its projects.

The Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner previously determined that Trudeau did break sections of the Conflict of Interest Act pertaining to accepting gifts.

This already establishes that what Trudeau did was wrong. The question then becomes was it illegal.

The Conservative opposition has only recently received over 500 pages of documents that shed a light on the RCMP investigation to determine whether or not Trudeau should have been criminally charged for accepting the trip.

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It’s troublesome what the documents reveal.

The RCMP created a flowchart decision tree to guide them on whether or not Trudeau could reasonably be found guilty of fraud against the federal government.

Their flowchart confirms that it was problematic that Trudeau, as a government official, accepted a benefit from the Aga Khan while the latter had dealings with the government.

Where they stop short is in answering this question: “Did Mr. Trudeau have the consent in writing of the head of the branch of government for whom he worked?”

This is obviously a tricky question, because it’s not like Trudeau reports to a deputy minister, like most public servants. But what’s odd is the RCMP answer: “Unknown.” That was enough for them to drop their case and decide to not charge him.

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First of all, it’s not enough to say that because he’s the head of his own branch he was therefore cleared by his own decision-making. Because then that would be to say the person at the top is above the law — and Trudeau is not above the law.

However, on Tuesday, Trudeau in the House of Commons said that, no, he was not given permission to take the trip. The RCMP just never asked. So, according to his own answers from him and the RCMP flowchart, Trudeau should be charged with fraud.

The Conservatives are now calling for the RCMP investigation to be re-opened. They are right.

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