By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The President of Brazil, Michel Temer, held a press conference yesterday (June 27th) to criticize the charges made against him by the country’s chief prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, and deny any wrongdoing. According to Temer, the charges are ‘fiction’ with no legal basis.
“Under the legal scope my concern is minimal,” said President Temer to a room full of journalists, adding he was making a statement about the charges ‘because of the political repercussion and, particularly, because of the insulting, unworthy attack, infamous to my personal dignity’.
According to Temer, the charges of passive corruption filed by Janot against him with the Supreme Court on Monday harms not only him, but the country, since they come at ‘exactly at that moment in which we are putting the country back on its tracks’.
According to political analysts interviewed by Brazilian media after the conference, Temer ‘attacked’ Janot and other federal prosecutors more than he defended himself.
During the speech, the President went as far as hinting that Janot may have benefited from JBS’s plea-bargaining agreement and said the chief prosecutor’s attitudes ‘open a very dangerous precedent in our law because it allows a wide range of conclusions about good and honest people’.
Chief prosecutor Janot responded to the President’s remarks by releasing a note Tuesday night stating that ‘no one should be above the law or beyond its reach’.
“The charges are public and based on ample evidence, such as reports from the federal police, detailed reports, flight recordings, contracts, testimonies, environmental recordings, images, videos, certificates, among other documents, which leave no doubt as to the evidence and the authorship of the crime of passive corruption,” said Janot in his statement.
According to a Datafolha poll released on Saturday (June 24th), President Temer’s popularity dropped to 7 percent after recordings made by JBS’ ex-CEO Joesley Batista incriminating the President were made public. President Temer’s popularity rate is the worst for a president in the last 28 years.