By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – As Brazilians were trying to digest Tuesday’s list of politicians to be investigated for corruption in the Lava Jato (Carwash) scandal, videos of the testimonies of Odebrecht executives were made public on Wednesday, sending officials into a new frenzy.
Some of the most damaging video footage came from the testimony of former Odebrecht VP, Marcio Faria, to federal prosecutors.
According to the executive he met with then Congressional representative Michel Temer in 2010 to talk about donations to be made to the politician’s PMDB party.
Faria said the meeting took place in Temer’s São Paulo office and payment to the party would be in exchange for facilitating Odebrecht’s participation in Petrobras projects.
In an official statement President Michel Temer said that he met with the former Odebrecht executive but denied the meeting was set up to discuss donations to the PMDB.
“President Michel Temer never spoke of monetary values with Mr. Marcio Faria. The narrative released today does not correspond to the facts and is based on an absolute lie,” said the press statement released by the Presidency.
“The president categorically denies any involvement of his name in shady deals. He never acted in defense of private interests at Petrobras, nor defended payment of undue amounts to third parties,” concludes the note. As President of the Republic, Michel Temer can not be investigated for acts prior to the current mandate.
“I do not know of any politician in Brazil who has not used illicit donations in their [election] campaign. I’d say illicit donations are two thirds [of campaign contributions],” Odebrecht is heard saying in the released video. “No one is elected in Brazil without illicit donations,” he concluded.