The Commons justice committee has released a taped phone call between the former justice minister and the clerk of the Privy Council.
In this December 19 conversation, Jody Wilson-Raybould asked Michael Wernick if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau understands the gravity of possibly granting SNC-Lavalin a deferred prosecution agreement.
"This is not about saving jobs," Wilson-Raybould said. "This is about interfering with one of our fundamental institutions. This is like breaching a constitutional principle of prosecutorial independence."
Wernick replied that he didn't think Trudeau saw it that way.
"No one is explaining that to him Michael," Wilson-Raybould stated.
She then mentioned that government members can stand up in the House of Commons and talk, "totally appropriately", about the rule of law in extradition proceedings or the prosecution of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman.
Wilson-Raybould said that those cases were not dissimilar to what they were discussing.
Wernick responded by saying he respected where she was coming from.
To that, Wilson-Raybould retorted: "You know what? I hope you do because I do not think anybody respects that."
Then she specifically mentioned the prime minister's chief of staff, Katie Telford, and his former principal secretary, Gerald Butts, who had previously exerted pressure on her or her staff.
After this exchange, Wernick pointed out that Wilson-Raybould was not only the attorney general but also the minister of justice in the cabinet. He added that advice Trudeau had received was that she still had things that she could do, which would not amount to interference and which would be lawful.
"It is not that they are not lawful," Wilson-Raybould replied. "The perception and what will happen is that it will be deemed political interference from day one when people were talking about why we are entering into a DPA or putting a DPA regime in place... Everybody knows that it was because of SNC whether that is true or not. That is what people think."
Later in the conversation, Wernick asked if anybody could talk to the director of public prosecutions "about the context around this".
Wilson-Raybould said that the company had already talked to her, and that there had already been a preliminary inquiry in the court case.
At this point, Wernick revealed that Trudeau was "in a pretty firm frame of mind about this".
"I am bit worried," Wernick said.
She asked what he was worried about.
"It is not a good idea for the prime minister and his attorney general to be at loggerheads," Wernick answered.
Wilson-Raybould replied that it was Trudeau's prerogative not to accept her advice.
"But I am trying to protect the prime minister from political interference or perceived political interference, or otherwise," she noted.
The phone call ended with Wilson-Raybould saying that she was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
"I am not under any illusion how the prime minister has and gets things that he wants," she said. "I am just stuck doing the best job I can."
The entire phone conversation can be heard here: