Brazil’s attorney general has formally accused President Michel Temer with corruption, the first time a sitting president in Latin America’s largest nation has faced criminal charges.
Attorney General Rodrigo Janot’s formal accusation Monday is the latest salvo in an intensifying showdown between Temer and justice officials building a case of corruption at the highest levels.
The case now goes to the lower Chamber of Deputies in Congress, which must decide whether it has merit. If two-thirds of the body decides that it does, then Temer will be suspended for up to 180 days while a trial is conducted. House Speaker Rodrigo Maia, an ally of Temer, would be president in the interim.
Janot opened an investigation last month into Temer for corruption, obstruction of justice and being part of a criminal organization. His decision to put forward only the corruption allegation may be a strategy to force the lower Chamber of Deputies to first deal with it before having to consider the other allegations.
Temer has denied wrongdoing and said he refuses to resign despite numerous calls for him to do so and tanking popularity.
Story by The Associated Press