On tape, Bolsonaro cites family reasons to swap top Rio cop: source

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro wearing a protective face mask looks on before a national flag hoisting ceremony in front the Alvorada Palace, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil

In a recorded cabinet meeting, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro cited persecution of his family as a reason to replace the head of the federal police in Rio de Janeiro, according to a person familiar with the tape reviewed on Tuesday by investigators.

Lawyers for former Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who quit last month accusing Bolsonaro of trying to meddle in police investigations, said the video “entirely confirmed” Moro’s allegations, which led to a probe by Brazil’s top prosecutor

Bolsonaro said he was not worried about the investigation and that the federal police had never investigated his family. He said the words “federal police” did not come up on the recording in question, which he said should have been destroyed.

After transcribing the video and interviewing ministers involved, Brazil’s prosecutor general will decide whether to charge the president with obstruction of justice and abuse of power.

If the Supreme Court and two thirds of the lower house of Congress see merit to any charges, Bolsonaro would be suspended from office and stand trial before the top court.

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