Opinion by Michael Royster
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On the eve of the Ides of March, Federal Chief Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot submitted 320 petitions to Brazil’s Supreme Court (STF), or, more precisely, to Justice Fachin, who is the reporting justice.
Yesterday, less than a month later, Justice Fachin, based on the evidence in those petitions, has now authorized conducting formal investigations of an absolutely astonishing number of politicians.
Consider: eight Ministers in Temer’s Cabinet, almost one-third of the total, including the most influential. 29 Federal Senators, out of a total of 81 — more than one-third of all Senators in the country. Federal Deputies come out slightly better—“only” 42 out of 513 are on the list. There are, moreover, some nine sitting Governors.
To put it succinctly, the most important political movers and shakers in Temer’s administration and parliament, those upon whom Temer relies to implant much-needed economic and social reforms proposed by his economic team, have ALL officially come under suspicion of corruption.
In this connection, it is worth emphasizing that not one of President’s economic team — Finance Minister, Central Bank President, BNDES President and more — has been implicated by Fachin’s List.
Additionally, there are well-founded rumors that a lot more well-known names will soon be “outed” by Justice Fachin—or rather, by the person who “leaked” the first lists.
These include former senators, deputies, governors, judges. Supposedly, even former Presidents Cardozo, Lula and Dilma will be included. Almost all those named in the lists have denied any criminal activity.
The task now facing the prosecutors is to prove the charges, to the satisfaction of the STF, so that the suspects can be indicted and stand trial.
The task now facing President Temer is to pretend that support from the political crooks does not really matter, because his reform proposals are all well thought out and necessary for the general welfare.
As Edward R Murray used to say: “Good night, and good luck.”