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Bolsonaro Attended Meeting About Plot to Keep him in Power, Senator Says

Bolsonaro Attended Meeting About Plot to Keep him in Power, Senator Says – Jair Bolsonaro’s close ally has turned on him, claiming that an aide to the far-right leader sought to “coerce” him into joining a plot to nullify the October elections and retain Bolsonaro in power. Senator Marcos do Val said during a news conference on Thursday that he was called to a meeting on 9 December with the then president by a fellow member of congress, Daniel Silveira, to discuss a strategy to “save Brazil”.

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During the meeting, Silveira allegedly ordered Do Val to try to persuade the country’s top electoral authority, Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, to make compromising comments over the phone in a taped conversation. Do Val said that the video would be used to arrest De Moraes and prevent Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from taking over as president on January 1.

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According to Do Val, Bolsonaro “sat in silence” while Silveira lay out the plot because he refused to join the conspiracy. The startling charges emerged as Silveira was detained on De Moraes’ instructions in the state of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday morning, having lost his parliamentary immunity with the end of his tenure a day earlier.

De Moraes accuses Silveira, a hardcore Bolsonaro supporter who has previously been detained for threatening the electoral officials, of disobeying court orders and “complete disrespect and mockery” of the judiciary.
 De Moraes has ordered Do Val to testify before federal police within five days as part of the investigation into the former president’s alleged attempt to subvert democracy, Reuters reported.

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Do Val’s allegations add to a growing body of evidence that Bolsonaro attempted to reverse the results of the October elections, which Lula narrowly won. Bolsonaro has yet to formally concede. These attempts appear to have culminated in the 8 January attack on Brasilia, in which thousands of Bolsonaro supporters ransacked government facilities in what is being interpreted as an attempt to seize power.

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In another sign of Bolsonaro’s weakened political clout, his candidate for Senate President, Rogério Marinho, was defeated in an internal election on Wednesday by the Lula-backed Rodrigo Pacheco. Police intend to use Do Val’s evidence as part of their probe into the January 8th insurgency. Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, the former president’s eldest son, stated in congress on Thursday that the meeting described by Do Val does not constitute any type of crime. 

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