By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The transparency minister in Brazil, Fabiano Silveira, resigned Monday after recorded conversations showed him criticizing the mega-corruption Lava Jato (Carwash) inquiries and giving advice to those being investigated. Silveira was dubbed by many in the government as interim president Michel Temer’s anti-corruption minister.
Silveira is the second cabinet minister to resign since President Temer took over the country less than a month ago after the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff, who is facing an impeachment trial.
Two weeks ago Planning Minister Romero Jucá was forced to step down after recordings showed him allegedly telling a colleague that impeachment proceedings against President Rousseff were necessary so as to limit investigations on the Lava Jato (Carwash) corruption scheme.
Last week, daily Folha de S. Paulo published a story which indicates that Senate President, Renan Calheiros, was recorded speaking about different ways to interfere with the investigation and stating that he was in favor of changes in the plea bargaining law.
This time, recordings leaked by Globo TV, showed Silveira giving advice to politicians on how to avoid being investigated in the corruption scandal, including to the Senate leader. He was also heard criticizing prosecutors assigned to the case. Like others in the previous recordings, Silveira said his words were taken out of context.
All these conversations were allegedly secretly recorded by former Transpetro president, Sergio Machado, back in March and given to prosecutors as part of his plea bargaining agreement with prosecutors. Machado is currently under investigation for his role in the Lava Jato scandal and has agreed to help prosecutors.
Meanwhile suspended President Rousseff’s allies are now supporting the theory that the impeachment trial faced currently by the leader is actually a smokescreen to stop the investigation of involvement of high-level politicians in the Petrobras (better known as Lava Jato) corruption scandal.