After the extremely divisive 2014 Brazilian presidential campaign, Dilma Rousseff’s opposition immediately challenged the results. The Brazilian Social Democracy-Party (PSDB) filed a lawsuit with the country’s Superior Electoral Court, claiming that Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer profited from money issued from corruption schemes. Rousseff was impeached – for other reasons – but the case remains open, and could spell problems for incumbent President Temer.
The former CEO of Andrade Gutierrez, a construction company, declared in a deposition that his company donated $300,000 to the Workers’ Party National Committee back in 2014. According to the executive, that money was a kickback. But it turns out that the check in question was not destined to the Workers’ Party, nor to Rousseff’s campaign committee. It was signed to Michel Temer and his party as beneficiaries.
According to Wálter Maierovitch, a law professor and former state judge, this new evidence could complicate the president’s legal situation. Temer’s legal team has challenged the lawsuit under the argument that the candidates for vice-president and president had different committees with separate finances. “If this theory prevails, he has a huge chance of being acquitted. But the court could refuse his argument, especially in the light of this new piece of evidence,” he revealed to plus55.
The court’s appointed rapporteur, Judge Herman Benjamin, decided to schedule a face-to-face deposition session between the former CEO – who made the donation – and the treasurer of Dilma Rousseff’s campaign. The depositions will be taken on November 17. The Workers’ Party – which has every reason in the world to injure Michel Temer’s reputation – claims that the incumbent President benefited from illegal donations, which he denies.
Judge Benjamin has stated that the court will soon decide whether or not Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer should be tried separately. If they are tried together, it could have devastating events for the current federal administration, and Temer could risk an impeachment process. No matter how you feel about him, it’s never a good sign when a country has not one but two impeached presidents in a single year.