A Brazilian magazine has published audio recordings of a senator speaking of a plot to keep ex-President Jair Bolsonaro in office despite an electoral defeat. In footage released on Thursday (local time), Senator Marcos do Val told Veja magazine that plans to overturn last October's presidential election were discussed at a meeting with Bolsonaro and MP Daniel Silveira on December 9 - three weeks before President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva takes office.
Do Val said he was urged by his ally Bolsonaro to get a Supreme Court judge to admit he had exceeded his powers. Bolsonaro hired him to include Judge Alexandre de Moraes, do Val said. De Moraes is also the head of Brazil's electoral authority. Bolsonaro supporters have accused him of rigging the election in favor of Lula. They did not present any evidence of this.
Bolsonaro said, "I'm annulling the election, Lula will not be sworn in, I'm staying in the presidency and I'm arresting Alexandre de Moraes for his statements," Do Val reported.
Do Val denied a magazine report on the alleged plot on Thursday. The audio recordings were then released. Do Val said after the report was released that Silveira had the idea for the plot. Bolsonaro did not say a word during the December 9 meeting. Do Val told reporters he briefed de Moraes on the content of the meeting. He himself refused to take part in the alleged plot.
De Moraes ordered do Val to testify under oath within five days. Bolsonaro's attorney Frederick Wassef declined to comment on the case.
Bolsonaro is already under investigation by his supporters in the Brazilian capital Brasília on January 8 for his possible role in the uprising. Before the presidential election, Bolsonaro had doubted that the country's electronic voting system would work. He also refused to acknowledge his electoral defeat.
Thousands of supporters of former President Bolsonaro storm and vandalize Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace in Brazil's capital, Brasilia.
Source: WORLD | Perdita Heise and Tobias Kaufer
Silveira was arrested Thursday on de Moraes' orders. He was accused of violating the terms of his release from prison. The deputy had been convicted of anti-democratic acts. He was charged with threatening de Moraes and other judges. Bolsonaro pardoned him.