Temer Formally Accused of Corruption*
Temer could be suspended for 90 days while awaiting impeachment proceedings.
Brazil’s Attorney General Rodrigo Janot formally accused President Michel Temer and his aide Rodrigo Rocha Loures of corruption Monday, charging them with receiving bribes from meatpacking giant JBS, according to O Globo.
Janot sent the request for charges, with additional documents to follow on Tuesday, to the country’s Supreme Court, which will then send them to the lower chamber of Congress.
By law, criminal charges against a sitting president have to be approved by two-thirds of the lower house and only then can the Supreme Court issue a conviction. If approved by the lower house, Temer could be suspended for 90 days while awaiting impeachment proceedings.
In that possible scenario, current House Speaker Rodrigo Maia would assume the presidency.
According to a poll by Estadao, Temer might not have the support of lawmakers to block the process.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s federal police recommended charging Temer with obstruction of justice Monday, according to an official report.
Temer faces several accusations of corruption and spying, and according to Reuters, Janot will consider treating each investigation separately instead of presenting them all together, a move that could weaken his defense strategy.
The embattled politician, who was one of the main architects of a similar procedure against former President Dilma Rousseff, has been marred by endless political scandals revolving around the Operation Car Wash, or Lava Jato, investigations. In May, a wiretapped conversation with businessman Josley Batista, chairman of JBS, the largest meatpacking company in the country was released which appeared to reveal Temer endorsing a bribe to potential witnesses in the investigation.
In the recording, Temer was heard saying after being informed that hush money was being paid to the former head of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, “Look, you’ve got to keep that up.”
Last week, Brazilian federal police handed over their investigation to the court alleging that Temer accepted bribes in exchange for political favors from JBS. Police have also confirmed the authenticity of the recordings, which Temer insists have been tampered with.
Temer also denied other allegations, a report in a national magazine claiming that the country’s secret security service, known as Abin, spied on the judge in charge of the same corruption probe.
Temer’s numerous complications have led to a plummeting of support.
The survey by the Datafolha polling institute shows just 7 percent of those questioned approved of his administration, down from 9 percent in April.