Imagine if the Watergate investigation had led not only to the downfall of President Nixon, but also to allegations against his successor, plus the Speaker of the House, the leader of the Senate, a third of the cabinet, and more than 90 members of Congress. That gives you some idea of what’s happening in Brazil right now. The country’s stock market plunged this past week after a report that President Michel Temer had been caught on tape approving illegal pay-offs, a potentially impeachable offense. Brazil’s last president, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached.
The country is suffering through one of its worst recessions in history and a crisis of leadership caused in large part by a massive corruption investigation. It’s known as Operation Car Wash. It’s one of the largest bribery cases ever investigated, and it’s being led by a small group of idealistic young Brazilian prosecutors and a crusading judge.
Things have only gone downhill from there. Last month, Brazil’s Supreme Court authorized new investigations of nearly 100 politicians, including a third of the new President Michel Temer’s current cabinet. And this past week, the Supreme Court authorized an investigation of President Temer himself and released audiotapes in which he allegedly approved payments that were designed to buy the silence of a witness. President Temer denies the allegations.
In Congress, some legislators under investigation have been fighting back, trying to pass new laws to protect themselves and curb the power of prosecutors and judges, threatening the very future of Operation Car Wash…
Money Talks: Brazil’s continuing corruption scandal
The Brazilian supreme court has ordered investigations into eight cabinet ministers and more than 70 other politicians. It’s all linked to accusations of bribery and corruption at the state oil company, Petrobras and construction firm Odebrecht. The court hasn’t named president Michel Temer, but it’s decision does threaten to destabilize his government. Arabella Munro reports and our editor at large Craig Copetas joins from Paris.
…for the record
Brazil’s president Michel Temer is being accused of corruption and the obstruction of justice by the country’s top prosecutor.
It came as the Supreme Court released explosive plea bargain testimony accusing him, along with former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff of receiving millions in bribes.
h/t Robbin Lion