Insults, swear words and a supposed intention, although vague, to “interfere” in the Federal Police. That is in a video broadcast this Friday, which could involve the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, in crimes of abuse of power.
The video corresponds to a ministerial meeting held on April 22, two days before the resignation of Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who upon resigning accused Bolsonaro of illegal “pressure” and “interference” on the Federal Police, the autonomous body of the Brazilian state.
Following the suspicions raised by Moro, the Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into alleged abuses of power by Bolsonaro and, at the request of the ex-judge of the anti-corruption operation Lava Jato, the video was demanded of the Presidency and disclosed by order of the dean of the Supreme Court, Celso de Mello, who oversees the investigation. In the images, an exalted Bolsonaro is seen, claiming for the lack of information he receives from state agencies.
“I cannot be surprised by news. I have the PF (Federal Police) that does not give me information. I have the intelligence of the Armed Forces and I have no information. The Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency) has its problems” but “it gives some information, “says the president.
He also considers all these services “a shame” and complains that his family “is persecuted.”
In his accusations, Moro hinted that Bolsonaro wanted to change the direction of the Federal Police and those responsible in Rio de Janeiro because they were investigating two of his children, but there is not a single direct mention of that matter in the video.
However, a statement by the president could open up room for interpretation, albeit without clarity.
“I have already tried to change people from our security in Rio de Janeiro officially and I did not succeed. And that is over. I am not going to wait for them to screw up my whole family, of mischief, or my friends, because I cannot change someone from the security, “he said.
“It will change. If I can’t change them, I change their bosses. Can’t I change the boss? I change the minister,” he said, addressing Moro, who resigned two days later.
During the meeting many other matters were discussed, but one of the most notable things was the abundance of profanity and all kinds of insults against political opponents, such as the governors of Sao Paulo, Joao Doria, and Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, a whom Bolsonaro referred to as “those shits”.
Insults were also the magistrates of the Supreme Court (STF), who have considered unconstitutional some of the measures taken by the Government.
But in that case they started from the Minister of Education, Abraham Weintraub. “For me, I put all the bums in jail, starting with the STF,” he said.
On his return to the Palacio da Alvorada, the presidential residence, Bolsonaro told reporters that Moro’s intention “was not a party shot, it was a child fireworks” and reiterated that with the release of the video there was “no minimum verification” of his “interference in the Federal Police”.
The governor pointed out that the video recordings of the “private” meetings with the ministers were determined by himself and that after an edition the files are destroyed, but that in this case the magistrate “acted very quickly” and gave a deadline of five days for the material to be delivered to the Supreme.
THE BOLSONARO TELEPHONE, IN THE VIEW OF JUSTICE
In the framework of that investigation, magistrate Celso de Mello asked the Prosecutor’s Office on Friday to analyze the possible need for the cell phones of the ruler and one of his sons, Carlos, who is a councilor in Rio de Janeiro, to be seized on the base of some news published in local media.
“The investigative claim of the State prevents the competent public organs from ignoring what is pointed out in a ‘notitia criminis’,” said the judge in that note, suggesting that he is inclined to apprehend the telephones, although the decision will be finally taken by the Attorney General.
The magistrate’s suggestion provoked a harsh reaction from the Government, which was pronounced by means of a harsh note issued by Army Reserve General Augusto Heleno, Minister of Institutional Security.
“The request to apprehend the President’s cell phone is inconceivable” and, if it were to do so, it would be “a confrontation with the highest authority” and “inadmissible interference”, which “could even have unforeseeable consequences for national stability,” said the note.
That official statement was rejected by almost all political parties and there were those who came to consider it almost a “threat” to democracy.
One of them was the head of the Socialist Party group in the Chamber of Deputies, Alessandro Molon, who called Heleno’s reaction “a threat of a coup and a crime against the security of the Nation.”
The head of state, for his part, told journalists: “My phone will not be delivered. What does the gentleman (de Mello) want with that? No one is going to take my phone.”