According to the local press, the deputy leader of the Senate, President Jairo Bolsonaro, resigned after the federal police of Brazil caught him for money helping Kovid, stuffed into his pants.
The government confirmed on Thursday afternoon that Senator Chico Rodriguez had set out to investigate the theft of 20 million reais ($ 3.5 million) of public funds intended to fight the pandemic. Supreme Court Judge Luis Roberto Barroso has suspended Rodriguez from parliament for 90 days while the investigation continues.
On Wednesday, as part of the investigation, Rodriguez held a residence in the northern state of Roraima. In a statement, he said he would resign while working to prove his innocence.
The operation comes less than a week after Bolsonaro said he was ending a lengthy car wash investigation in Brazil because his administration was free of corruption. On Thursday, the president said a police investigation shows that his team continues to fight corruption and is not involved in any illegal activities.
“My government is made up of cabinet members, state-owned companies and banks,”; he said.
However, the incident risks calling into question the Bolsonaro administration’s claims of purity, according to Andre Cesar, an independent political analyst.
“This weakens the government’s position on corruption,” Cesar said. “And as for the political coalition, it complicates the situation in Congress, especially when they have important reforms and a budget to vote for.”
Read more: Bolsonaro says Brazil has no corruption, completes car wash probe
Cesar said Rodriguez was an experienced and reliable politician, adding that a change of leadership at the moment could be traumatic for the legislature. He was also a senator last year led a delegation of five deputies on a trip to China with all expenses, kindly provided by the Chinese government, if they were considering an exhibition hall belonging to Huawei Technologies Co.
The police operation included searches of the residences and offices of other politicians in Roraima, where 52,848 people were infected with the coronavirus, to date 676 people have died. According to local media, more than 30,000 reais ($ 5,500) were found in the legislator’s house. Barroso’s ruling said some bills were found in the senator’s underwear.
(Adding the content of Barroso’s ruling in column 2 and the leak of the police investigation in the last graph.)