Brazil’s President Michel Temer fought for his political life Friday after being accused of attempting to derail a massive corruption investigation known as “Car Wash.”
Temer and a senior senator, Aecio Neves, were among those “who attempted to prevent the Car Wash investigations from advancing,” Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot wrote in a court filing that was made public on Friday.
The accusation of wide scale obstruction of justice raised the stakes in a crisis threatening to topple Temer barely a year after the center-right politician took over from impeached leftist president Dilma Rousseff.
Temer was placed under investigation Thursday over a secretly recorded conversation with a business executive in which the president is purported to have given his blessing to monthly payments of hush money to a jailed politician.
That politician — former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha — is in prison after being convicted of bribe-taking in a sprawling anti-corruption drive named operation “Car Wash.”
The investigation has upended Brazil with scores of politicians indicted or subject to probes into alleged bribe taking and embezzlement. And Cunha, formerly one of the most powerful insiders in Congress, has long been rumored to have threatened to spill secrets on other politicians to prosecutors.
Temer angrily denied any wrongdoing in a televised address Thursday and rebutted mounting calls for his resignation. He had not spoken in public Friday.
Online: AFP provided this report.