Friday, 15 November, 2019

Taped Talk Shows Brazil President Approving Hush Money. Opposition Wants Impeachment

Debra Rodriguez | 18 May, 2017, 10:06

Brazilian President Michel Temer on Wednesday denied participation in a bribery scheme.

In a statement to The Associated Press, the president's office said Temer never solicited payments to keep former Speaker of the House Eduardo Cunha silent.

The news roiled Brazil, as a nation that thought itself inured after three years of political turmoil confronted a dramatic ratcheting up of the level of chaos and uncertainty.

Temer acknowledged Wednesday that on March 7 he was visited by Joesley Batista, an executive of the meat-packing giant JBS, but added that their conversation did not "compromise his conduct".

When Batista told Temer he was paying Cunha to remain silent, the president was recorded saying, "You need to keep that up, OK?" according to the newspaper report, which did not identify a source for the information.

Before releasing the statement, Temer met with some members of his cabinet: Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha, Secretary-General Moreira Franco, Government Secretary Antonio Imbassahy, Communications Secretary Marcio Freitas and spokesman Alexandre Parola. He has been named in a number of other plea bargains, relating to bribes he allegedly authorized before he took over as President with Ms. Rousseff's ouster last August.

Batista delivered the evidence to the prosecution office and confirmed his testimony to a member of the Supreme Court.

Defiant Trump says he had 'absolute right' to share information with Russian Federation
Reporters spent much of the evening camped out adjacent to Press Secretary Sean Spicer's office, hoping for answers. The revelations could further damage Trump's already fraught relationship with US intelligence agencies.

The possible annulment of the winning pair in the 2014 elections, made up of former President Dilma Rousseff and incumbent President Michel Temer, will be submitted again to the Supreme Electoral Court (SEC) next week.

Temer's right-wing PMDB party was formerly in a coalition with Rousseff's PT before a rupture previous year that helped pave the way for the controversial impeachment process, widely condemned as a parliamentary coup.

Marcelo Odebrecht - once head of one of Brazil's largest construction company, Odebrecht, which has been at the center of the country's massive corruption scandal - had told prosecutors that they contributed much more to Rousseff's campaign than the law allows.

Although Rousseff's rivals have often portrayed her impeachment as part of a campaign to root out government corruption, she was removed from office on accusations that she cooked the books with common accounting tricks ahead of her re-election campaign and was never accused of personal enrichment.

Alessandro Molon, an opposition lawmaker from the Rede party, has filed a demand to Speaker of the lower house, Rodrigo Maia, for impeaching Temer.

Last week, Temer marked his first year in office, expressing optimism about reforms planned for Brazil's weak economy amid a slump in voter support.

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