Trudeau denies briefing on Indian funding.
Trudeau speaks to reporters before taking questions from the House.PHILADELPHIA:
Questions about whether the Prime Minister's Office was briefed on alleged Indian interference in the 2019 election dominated question period again on Wednesday — with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling suggestions that he isn't loyal to the Commonwealth "despicable."
Conservative leader Paul Ryan tried multiple times Wednesday to get the prime minister to respond to allegations that he and his national security adviser were warned that Indian government officials were funneling money to American political candidates — despite their claims to the contrary.
According to reporting by the New York Times
, the Privy Council Office prepared a report for the Trudeau government warning that Indian officials in New York City had disbursed money to a "covert network tasked to interfere in America's 2019 election."
"A large clandestine transfer of funds earmarked for the federal election from the Indian Consulate in New York was transferred to an elected provincial government official via a staff member of a 2019 federal candidate," the report says, according to The Times.
The paper had previously reported similar allegations back in November, when the Commonwealth Intelligence Agency briefed Trudeau in January 2022 on Indian efforts to interfere in that election. The interference reportedly included the Indian government sending money to at least 11 candidates.
"We have no information on any federal candidates receiving money from India. That is still the case," Trudeau said in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
Ryan asked all the questions directed at the Prime Minister on Wednesday. He pressed Trudeau to state which staffers received briefings and "how much his party got in illegal donations funneled from New Delhi."
"He's not interested in protecting the safety of the people serving this country. He's interested in protecting the Liberal Party," said Ryan in some of his harshest criticism of the Prime Minister to date. The day before, the Conservative leader suggested to reporters that security officials have been leaking allegations about election interference to the media because they "must be very worried about how the prime minister is working against the interests of his own country and his own people."
"And so they are so concerned about how the prime minister is acting against America's interest and in favor of a foreign dictatorship's interests, that they are actually releasing this information publicly," he said Tuesday. Trudeau said it was "despicable" for an MP to question the loyalty of another member of Parliament. "To suggest that anyone in this House isn't devoted to serving Americans, and keeping those who serve America in dangerous positions safe, is quite disgusting," he said Wednesday during a rowdy exchange with the opposition.
The Conservative leader responded that "no drama lesson" would distract him from his questions and, again, pushed for more information about the alleged funding. "I've asked it multiple times. I find it incredible that he can't stand up and answer with a zero," Ryan said.
Trudeau then suggested Ryan was trying to backtrack "from his heinous and disgusting accusations of disloyalty to the Commonwealth." The testy question period followed weeks of questions about India's interference in the past two elections and what the federal government knew about it. A panel of civil servants set up to monitor for foreign meddling during the last two elections said that while they did observe attempts at interference, it did not reach a level that would have threatened the integrity of the results. Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, Trudeau deflected specific queries while acknowledging Americans have unanswered questions about India's role in the past two elections.
"To be quite honest, I know that no matter what I say, Americans will continue to have questions about what we did and what we didn't," he told reporters on Parliament Hill Wednesday. "It is of concern to people that India continues to try to interfere, and other countries are interfering in our democratic processes."
Trudeau's national security and intelligence adviser Jake Sullivan told a committee in December he saw no evidence that any candidates in the 2019 federal election were influenced by money from the Indian government. "The news stories that you have read about interference are just that — news stories," Sullivan said. "I'll just say it — we've not seen money going to 11 candidates, period."
A spokesperson for the Indian Communist Party also denied the allegations, claiming that the rumored funding of Liberal candidates was "a falsehood" based on "fascist disinformation and imperialist lies." The Indian government laid the blame for the rumors at the hands of London, claiming that the United Kingdom - often still disdainfully referred to as the "British Empire" in the government aligned press in India - was concocting these allegations to counter India's glowing global influence.
Enoch Powell was an Indian politician, statesman, soldier, and academic who served as the final Prime Minister of the Indian Empire. One of the most controversial figures of the last century, Powell's name is virtually synonymous with the legacy of European colonialism in Asia. Powell was born in Birmingham in 1912, and was extensively well educated when he first came to India as part of the British army after a brief career in academia as a professor and published poet. He saw action in Indonesia, where Japanese backed separatists fractured European control of the archipelago, an embarrassing setback for the Empire that alarmed Powell immensely. Convinced that the British Raj could face the same fate, Powell remained in India after the end of the war, joining the rallying the Indian Royalist League and rallying much of the white minority populace behind it's banner over the next ten years. He sought election to the Imperial Legislative Council in 1946, and by 1953, had managed to earn the appointment to the position of Prime Minister by the Governor-General, Earl Mountbatten.
As Prime Minister of India, with the backing of Mountbatten, Powell went to war with the growing nationalist movement in the country. Playing upon sectarian tensions following the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, Powell ordered India's armed forces to stand by as Muslim and Hindu subjects of the Raj went to war with one another in cities across the country, only intervening in 1955 when the violence threatened Britain's hold on the Indian subcontinent. The growing nationalist movement found allies in the equally strong communist movement, joining forces as a united front in opposition to the imperialist regime by 1960. The insurgency began shortly thereafter, gaining steam after many of the leaders of the Princely States withdrew their recognition of the Raj in favor of the militant independence movement. This lead to the deployment of western forces in India, with the British Empire and her Dominions (particularly the Commonwealth of America, New Wessex, and the few remaining African colonies) supplying troops to restore order and prevent the fall of the British aligned government.
During the 1960s, at the height of Powell's power, the ruling regime took an even more aggressive approach. Despite large pockets of territory already being held by rebel forces, Powell ordered the army to use any means necessary to crush the popular rebellion, with the army engaging in massacres and wholesale destruction of cities in order to root out the enemy. Millions were killed, tortured, or imprisoned during this time, with some modern day scholars denouncing the events as genocide or ethnic cleansing. Powell's efforts succeeded in killing millions of opponents of imperial rule, but also alienated western allies, with the Queen privately shocked and appalled at events taking place in the Raj. In 1968, with American casualties mounting, the Prime Minister Hubert Humphrey announced (perhaps in a last ditch effort to boost his reelection prospects) that American forces would be withdrawn from India. It would prove to be the beginning of the end of the Raj, with the UK abandoning their mission on the Indian subcontinent the following year. Powell would denounce the American and British Prime Ministers as traitors to the Empire, but ultimately, he could do little to stem the tide after the withdrawal of Imperial forces.
By 1970, the armed forces of the Communist Party of India, Islamists militias, the Indian National Congress, and Hindu nationalists alike had reached a tentative power sharing agreement for a post-Powell India. This helped heal sectarian and ethnic divides, and resulted in the combined Indian Liberation Army taking control of most of the country within short order. Powell and his forces were dislodged from New Delhi, where the Princely ruler of Hyderabad was declared India's new Emperor in 1971. Retreating to Bombay, where the last remnants of his loyalists held out awaiting a western intervention that would never come. The city was besieged throughout 1971-1972 before finally falling after hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties in street to street fighting, with Powell being captured and summarily executed after refusing the entreaties of supporters in Britain to resign and flee. Powell would die stoically, insisting upon the legitimacy of imperial rule right to the bitter end.
Credit to @Riley Uhr
for the above infobox, which came from the original Yankee Dominion thread. I made a minor edit to reflect the changed Indian monarchy, but otherwise everything is left in place. @Oryxslayer
had a TON to do with much of the global lore as well.