This week, Rodrigo Janot published his second list of corrupt politicians as Brazil’s Prosecutor-General. The first list came about in March 2015, just as Dilma Rousseff was taking her second presidential term. This time, “Janot’s List” addresses major politicians in President Temer’s administration. While the names haven’t yet gone public, word has it that Janot listed five of Temer’s ministers and major Congressional leadership.
In addition to Temer’s Chief of Staff Eliseu Padilha, Janot has listed prominent Senator Aécio Neves and former Foreign Affairs Minister José Serra. Also deeply tied to President Temer is Moreira Franco. The President recently named Franco his Secretary General in what looked suspiciously like a play for privileged judicial status. In total, his list includes 83 investigation requests against politicians.
“Janot’s List” is a result of the plea deal signed by 77 former Odebrecht executives last year. Now that Janot approved the investigations, the next step is for the Supreme Federal Court (STF) to approve them. If the Justices approve the investigations, the accused politicians become criminal defendants. The STF approved all 28 investigations against 48 authorities on Janot’s first list.
So far, only former House president Eduardo Cunha has been arrested, and even then only after his impeachment. Meanwhile, the rest of the accused politicians continue to hold public office, giving them a special privileged judicial status (“foro privilegiado”). As a result, it can take years if not decades to try them.
In response to the list, Brazil’s economic indicator, the Ibovespa, went down -1.27 percent despite a period of steady climb.
Despite the political turmoil, Congress continues in session. In fact, they passed a momentous corruption amnesty program on Tuesday. The bill allows people who have laundered money in offshore accounts to repatriate their savings with a hefty fee.
Amid protests that the program would essentially legitimize money laundering for politicians’ illegal campaign funds, Congress added a stipulation that anyone holding public office would not be able to participate in the amnesty program.