In confounding speech, Bolsonaro affirms Moro bargained for Supreme Court post

The president admits to “almost begging” for investigations in which he is targeted

Translated by: Ítalo Piva

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo |
Jair Bolsonaro admits to asking for investigations - Marcos Corrêa/PR

President Jair Bolsonaro reacted in a confused manner to the accusations laid out by former Justice Minister Sergio Moro, regarding interference in the Federal Police (PF), this Friday(24th) afternoon, affirming that the ex-Minister bargained for a nomination to the Supreme Court, in the discussions about who would lead the nationwide enforcement agency.

“Since he mentioned some particular issues, more than once Mr. Sergio Moro said: you can replace Valeixo, but only after november, after you appoint me to the Supreme Court. Sorry, but this isn’t how things work”, affirmed the president on national television.

Right after the presidential pronouncement, former judge Sergio Moro, who resigned from office also on Friday (24th), denied having utilized the Supreme Court slot as a bargaining chip.

“The Federal Police director position held by Maurício Valeixo, was never used as a bargaining chip for my nomination to the Supreme Court. If this was my objective, I would have agreed to his removal yesterday”, Moro posted on social media.

Bolsonaro denied interfering with Federal Police investigations, “besides those targeting Adélio Bispo [suspect in a knife attack on the president], the doorman and my 4th child”. The head of state claims he “almost begged” for the investigations to go on.

The doorman he mentions in the presidential pronouncement is an employee at the condominium where Bolsonaro resides in Rio de Janeiro, who is embroiled in the inquiries surrounding the murder of councilwoman Marielle Franco. “Is it really interference to request an investigation on this doorman? Was he bribed? Was he threatened? Are his mental faculties ok?”, said the president.

Bolsonaro admitted that though the law determines that the choice for head of the Federal Police lies with the presidency, he forewent the rule and gave the power to Moro.

“The nomination was undertaken by Sergio Moro, though the 2014 law says that nomination to this position falls on the nation’s president. I ignored this because I trusted Sergio Moro. He brought his team to Brasilia. All the key positions are filled by people from Curitiba (where Moro was a magistrate), including the head of the Highway Police”, stated Bolsonaro.

Edited by: Leandro Melito