Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro participated in a meeting to overturn election and didn’t discourage a proposed plan, says senator
Sao Paulo, Brazil
A Brazilian senator says former President Jair Bolsonaro attended a meeting in December to overturn Brazil’s 2022 presidential election results, which granted current leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva the presidency.
Senator Marcos do Val said in a press conference on Thursday, that both he and Bolsonaro were present at a private discussion on December 9 organized by Bolsonaro ally and then-congressman Daniel Silveira.
According to do Val’s account, Silveira proposed a plan to discredit the recent election, suggesting that do Val arrange and secretly record a meeting with Electoral Court President and Supreme Court Judge Alexandre de Moraes.
Do Val said he was told to prompt the judge to say things that would raise doubts about the vote’s validity and the electoral court’s neutrality.
He also released screenshots of his WhatsApp messages with Silveira about the meeting and the plan.
In describing Bolsonaro’s role in the conversation, do Val said the president remained silent on the proposal, and did not discourage it. He said he had the impression there was an agreement.
Do Val said, “It was Daniel (Silveira) who spoke. I said I would think about it later and make contact.”
“It was very clear that he was in a position to manipulate and have (Bolsonaro) buy into his idea, if a senator accepted the mission,” do Val also said.
Silveira’s legal team did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.
According to do Val, he ultimately did meet with de Moraes on December 14, but instead of recording the encounter, warned the judge about the plot. De Moraes has not commented publicly.
On Thursday, de Moraes, who is in charge of the ongoing probe on the January 8 riots, ordered do Val to give a deposition to Federal Police within five days, according to a Supreme Court document.
Do Val also said that he was told by Silveira that the plan also involved Brazil’s Institutional Security Office (GSI), which is responsible for the president’s security. The GSI would provide secret agents and recording devices to Do Val.
Brazil’s Intelligence Agency, which commands the GSI, denied this on Thursday, saying it is “absolutely not involved in any initiative related to the possibility of recording conversations of ministers of the Federal Supreme Court.”
Bolsonaro’s office did not respond to CNN’s request for comment. Reacting to do Val’s claims during a Senate session on Thursday, the ex-President’s son, Sen. Flavio Bolsonaro, said, “clarifications need to be made so that narratives do not overcome the facts.”
“The fact is that on December 31, President Bolsonaro left the presidency,” he added.
Lula narrowly won the Brazilian presidency in a run-off vote in October, but many of Bolsonaro’s supporters have refused to accept the results, their defiance culminating in an attack on government buildings in Brasilia on January 8.
Bolsonaro himself did not publicly acknowledge the election results until December 30.
Silveira, a former police officer whose congressional term ended this week, was arrested on Thursday on unrelated charges, after he allegedly failed to comply with court orders and tampered with his electronic ankle monitor – the result of a 2021 conviction for anti-democratic acts.