, 15 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Something really important and outrageous just happened today in Brazil that exposes the corruption at the heart of the Bolsonaro movement — the exact type of corruption that they promised to stamp out. #THREAD
2 On December 6, @Estadao broke the story that a govt body investigated the finances of Rio state legislators and their staffs and discovered a US$320K in "irregular" bank transactions by a staffer to @FlavioBolsonaro, @jairbolsonaro's son. politica.estadao.com.br/blogs/fausto-m…
3 The staffer, Fabrício José Carlos de Queiroz, is a cop and worked as Flavio's driver. His monthly salary was $2,272 plus another $3,361 from the police. Queiroz made large cash withdrawals and received deposits from 8 of Flavio's other staffers.
4 During the period in question, Queiroz wrote a check for R$24,000 ($6,402) to Michelle Bolsonaro (@ASCOMJMB), Jair's wife, now First Lady. When the story broke, the Bolsonaro's were slow to respond. Eventually Jair said it was to repay a loan.
5 Since then, the few public explanations offered were very weak. Queiroz said he made the money buying and reselling used cars, but couldn't provide any proof of such activities and Flavio said he has no control over what his employees do outside of the office.
6 The records of other staffers were then scrutinized and it came out that Queiroz's daughter Nathalia was employed by Jair's office. She is an active personal trainer with celebrity clients. A slew of other suspicious aides emerged. oglobo.globo.com/brasil/da-vend…
7 It's worth noting that Brazilian elected officials can hire very large staffs & it's a VERY common scheme for them to hire unqualified staffers as patronage. Sometimes they don't even have to show up. Sometimes they have staffers kick back a portion of their wages to the boss.
8 That's not NECESSARILY what happened here, but that's the suspicion. And many are clamoring for an investigation. The Public Ministry summoned Flavio & Queiroz for questioning. Multiple times. Both men simply never showed up. Instead, they did TV interviews w friendly outlets.
9 Two days ago, Rio's prosecutor-general said that it is possible to file charges even without hearing the testimony of the accused.
10 Today, more than a month after the story broke, Supreme Court minister Luiz Fux issued a ruling to suspend the investigation into Queiroz at the request of @FlavioBolsonaro. His decision is sealed so we can't read it. www1.folha.uol.com.br/poder/2019/01/…
11 Flavio says that even though he hasn't taken office yet, he is a Federal Senator and will take office on Feb 1 and therefore has parliamentary immunity (therefore, can only be tried in the Supreme Court). He also challenged the constitutionality of the original investigation.
12 Previously, immunity was universal, but as of last May, it only applies to acts committed in the line of duty and during ones mandate. The Supreme Court, however, says it can decide the applicability of immunity on a case-by-case basis.
13 Bolsonaro & affiliated right-wing movements argued for years that the Workers' Party basically invented corruption & that by voting them in power, they'd end corruption & clean up the country. Many voters bought it. But it's bullshit. 👇 theintercept.com/2018/12/09/bra…
14 This story isn't over yet. It will likely stalk the Bolsonaros for many months to come. Most importantly, it's serving to alienate them from the true believers in their base, which is quickly devolving into internecine bickering over many key issues. In short, it's a shitshow!
15 More on @jairbolsonaro and what he stands for. Here's a taste: "I’m in favor of torture, you know that. And the people are in favor as well.” theintercept.com/2018/10/28/jai…
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