Bolsonaro Involved in Coup Against Brazil?

Written by Ciara Perez

February 5, 2023

On January 26, Brazilian magazine Veja released audio of Senator Marcos do Val, formerly a close ally of Bolsonaro, in which he claimed that the former president had been plotting a way to remain in power and overturn the election. The audio was released after the senator denied the magazine’s report of the alleged plot, which hadn’t cited the senator as its source. Senator Do Val alleges of having “met with Bolsonaro and lawmaker Daniel Silveira on Dec. 9 at the presidential residence” which is where the discussion of the plot took place. Supreme Court Justice, Alexandre de Moraes, has confirmed that this is the same information the senator shared with him. However, Moraes has also ordered Do Val to “provide sworn testimony to federal police within five days as part of Supreme Court investigation into the January 8 riots”.

Senator Do Val also revealed to Moraes that Silveira had asked him to trap Moraes into saying “something incriminating while secretly recording him” as a means of discrediting the presidential election. Do Val allegedly quotes Bolsonaro as having said, “I annul the election, Lula isn’t sworn in, I stay in the presidency and arrest Alexandre de Moraes because of his comments”. Moraes has been a big target for Bolsonaro supporters, who believe he “interfered in the election to help Lula”. He is also the head of Brazil’s top electoral authority and often played defense against Bolsonaro’s attacks on “the integrity of Brazil’s electronic voting system”.

Silveira was arrested due to “a warrant issued by Moraes, who accused him of disobeying court rulings”. He had previously been “sentenced for anti-democratic acts after issuing threats against de Moraes and other justices” but had been pardoned by Bolsonaro. On the same day that Senator Do Val made his claims, President Lula also made allegations against Bolsonaro, stating that he was involved in the January 8th storming of government offices.

Though Bolsonaro has been in Florida since late December, and has applied for a six-month tourist visa to remain in the U.S., he is under investigation in Brazil for his “alleged role in inflaming riots by his supporters”. His son “has admitted the meeting took place but denies a crime was committed” and Bolsonaro himself has made no comment on the matter.  

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