Brazilian Federal Police Recommend New Criminal Case Against President Temer

On October 16, the Associated Press reported, the Brazilian Federal Police recommended that a new corruption-related case be brought against Brazilian President Michel Temer.  The police report, reportedly filed with Brazil’s highest court, stated that President Temer “is suspected of receiving bribes to favor port administrating companies through a presidential decree.”  The potential charges include corruption, money laundering, and criminal association.

The article also stated that Brazil’s Attorney General, Grace Maria Fernandes Mendonça, will have 15 days to decide whether to pursue the case.  If she approves the prosecution, the lower house of the Brazilian Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, would have to approve a trial of Temer by a two-thirds margin, which would lead to Temer’s suspension.

Note: Even after last month’s binational criminal resolution of the corruption investigations against Petrobras, this latest case suggests that Operation Car Wash, the longrunning investigation of high-level and deeply rooted corruption in Brazil, is continuing with vigor.   Especially because of the strong possibility that Temer will be succeeded by Congressman Jair Bolsonaro – a far right-wing politician whose support stems in part from widespread public anger about political corruption on the left and right — Mendonça, whom Temer appointed in 2016, will be in a politically delicate position in deciding whether to prosecute Temer before the October 28 runoff Presidential election.  Temer, though deeply unpopular for some time, will remain in office until December 31.  Although the Chamber of Deputies declined in 2017 to vote against Temer in a prior corruption case, his immunity from prosecution would end once he leave office.

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