The Temer defense team has come up with a number of explanations for the incriminating recordings exposed Wednesday night. To start, they’re claiming the JBS brothers tampered with the audio recordings in order to strengthen their plea deal. Moreover, the defense is framing the situation as a “conspiracy” in which Temer is the victim. This, in turn, was the argument the president first presented to his coalition. The government sent in the audio for further investigation.
Since Wednesday evening, protests have raged across Brazil calling for the president’s impeachment. The Supreme Court authorized an investigation against the president. In response, the president himself requested the release of the audio recording that threw his mandate into such a storm. Why such a bold move? Temer believed the audio recording would “erase any doubts about his character”.
During his public statement Thursday afternoon, Temer took on a vehement tone in an effort to disperse any rumors about his ethics. The statement lasted only minutes, but Temer took the time to assure Brazil that he would not be resigning. Moreover, he attempted to convince the country that his presidency was the only path to economic recovery. But as protests continue to rage and Temer’s investigation deepens, his own presidency doesn’t seem quite so certain itself.
The audio recording
Albeit scratchy and nearly inaudible, Temer’s voice is nonetheless present on the audio recording with Joesley Batista. Brazil can access the recording in which Temer listens to Batista’s plan to skirt justice in his bribery scheme. Temer’s defense claims that the president believed Batista to be bluffing about having recruited moles in Operation Car Wash, and thus did not report the crimes.
In the recording, Temer himself tells Batista to “keep that going”, in regards to his bribes to ex-congressman Eduardo Cunha. The defense team claims that Temer’s voice comes up due to edits. But it remains uncertain whether or not the country will fall for this explanation.