The two-hour video of the cabinet meeting was published with some editing as part of the case file, which seeks to establish whether the president tried to illegally interfere in the investigation of family members, according to former Justice Minister Sergio Moreau. The latter resigned last month due to sharp disagreements with Bolsonaro.
The former minister told investigators that the president had openly asked to replace key people in the federal police structure, including its chief. The video confirms this. In it, Bolsonsaro says: “I tried to change our security people in Rio, not Janeiro, and I failed. That must end. I will not wait for them to (joke) with my whole family or my friend just for fun. “We will not play tricks. A point!” Said the president, declaring that he had the right to intervene and had the power to replace law enforcement officials, their bosses and even the minister himself.
Moreau resigned after Bolsonaro fired the director general of the federal police without consulting him. According to Moreau, among those appointed for replacement by Bolsonaro was the chief of police in Rio de Janeiro, who is most likely behind the accusations of corruption against the president’s sons who live there.
Last night, Bolsonaro was quoted on Reuters as saying on Facebook that the video did not prove any interference in the actions of the federal police. According to him, in his words at the meeting he meant people from his bodyguards, not high-ranking federal police officers, but added that each branch of government must know the limits of its powers. He vowed never to hand over his personal mobile phone, even if the Supreme Court asked him to do so as part of the investigation, because he feared that information from the phone could leak into the public domain.
Bolsonaro’s rating in the country is rapidly declining, one of the reasons being the scandal caused by the resignation of Moreau, who is considered an active fighter against corruption in Brazil, the AP notes.
Another reason is the president’s attempts to downplay the coronavirus pandemic, which has grown rapidly in the country and has already claimed the lives of more than 21,000 Brazilians. In the last day alone, 1001 people have died. Brazil is now second in the world after the United States in the number of infected, which is currently almost 331,000, Reuters reported.