Trudeau, ministers to testify at foreign interference inquiry today | CBC News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a handful of cabinet ministers will take questions today about what they were told about — and how they responded to — allegations of foreign interference in the past two federal elections.

The commission will hear from Government House Leader Karina Gould, Defence Minister Bill Blair and Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc during the first half of the day.

Trudeau is expected to start testifying mid-afternoon.

Commissioner Marie-Josée Hogue is investigating allegations that China, Russia, India and others meddled in one way or another in the 2019 and 2021 elections. She’s also assessing the flow of information within government related to alleged meddling in the previous two federal elections.

One of the allegations stems from a media report that claimed that in 2019, security officials told senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) that then Liberal candidate Han Dong “was part of a Chinese foreign interference network” and that the party should “rescind Dong’s candidacy.”

Testifying Tuesday, Jeremy Broadhurst — the Liberals’ national campaign director for the 2019 federal election — disputed those claims.

“They weren’t making a recommendation that the party should do anything,” he said. “They weren’t advising that the prime minister take any specific actions. They just wanted us to have the information that they had at that time.”  

Broadhurst added that “it would have been very, very surprising to” him if “intelligence officials had felt it was their place to advise a party on whether or not to drop candidates.” 

Trudeau’s high-profile appearance comes as the first stage of public hearings draws to a close. 

Hogue’s interim report is due in early May.

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