By Xiu Ying, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – President Jair Bolsonaro and the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sérgio Moro, had their first meeting on Tuesday morning, June 11th, after the release of reports showing the alleged cooperation between the prosecutors and the then judge of the Lava Jato cases.
According to the presidency’s advisor, the two spoke alone for around 20 minutes at the Palácio da Alvorada, before leaving together by boat to an event in the Naval Headquarters in Brasília to commemorate the 154th anniversary of the Riachuelo naval battle. The Minister of Justice was among those awarded the Order of Naval Merit.
Sérgio Moro spent the morning next to the president, sending a clear message to those who want the justice minister out.
In a note, the Ministry of Justice reported that the conversation between Moro and Bolsonaro was “fairly relaxed” and that the subject of the meeting was the disclosure of the messages allegedly exchanged by the minister.
The Senate President, Davi Alcolumbre, said yesterday, June 11th, in the plenary session that the minister will be heard by the Committee on Constitution, Justice, and Citizenship (CCJ) next Wednesday, June 19th, at 9 AM.
The Intercept Brasil site published reports on Sunday that show an alleged exchange of messages between Moro, then the judge responsible for Lava Jato cases in Curitiba, and the prosecution’s coordinator, Deltan Dallagnol.
Based on what is claimed to be files received from an anonymous source, the site shows alleged conversations between Moro and Dallagnol regarding decisions, the progress of investigations and suggestions for witnesses. Moro and Lava Jato prosecutors deny irregularities.
On Monday, president Bolsonaro avoided commenting on the case. It was up to the military minister and vice president, Hamilton Mourão, to defend Moro, while presidential sources indicated that the aim was to avoid bringing the crisis into the Planalto.
In the evening, the spokesman for the presidency, Otavio Rego Barros, said the president would meet with Moro on Tuesday to “draw up a course of action on the issue” as the minister had been in Manaus on Monday.
On Tuesday morning it was the Presidential Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni’s turn — who had similarly not commented on Monday — to defend the minister of justice through his Twitter account.
“Moro is one of the most competent, capable, and ethical individuals I’ve known all this time here in Brasília. I am honored to share the mission to change Brazil with him and with each of the other members of the Bolsonaro team,” Onyx wrote.
Amid potential turbulence due to the disclosure of the alleged messages, acknowledged to Reuters on Monday by parliamentary leaders, Chamber President Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ) used Twitter on Tuesday to state that he will shield the House from a crisis in favor of the approval of reforms.
“We will shield the House from any crisis. Our efforts and focus are on approving the reforms and all projects that are critical for Brazil. Nothing is more important than regaining trust by balancing public accounts and creating jobs in the country,” Maya wrote.