Lawyers for ousted former Brazil president Dilma Rousseff [Britannica profile] filed documents with the Superior Electoral Court [official website] in Brazil on Thursday alleging that her former vice president and current President Michel Temer took a large bribe. Specifically, the lawyers produced copies of documents [Reuters report] showing that Andrade Gutierrez [corporate website], a construction firm, transferred US $295,351 directly to the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party [official website] (PMDB) general campaign finance fund. According to a check dated July 10, 2014, produced by the lawyers, the exact same amount was deposited into Temer’s personal campaign finance fund. However, both the PMDB and Temer’s staff have thus far rejected any allegation that the campaign donation from Andrade Gutierrez was illegal and stated that it was properly disclosed to the electoral court. Furthermore, Temer’s staff requested the court to separately investigate the allegations against him and Rousseff adding that Rousseff must take sole responsibility for any wrongdoing as the head of the ticket in 2014.
Rousseff’s successful reelection campaign in 2014 has been under investigation for months for alleged use of illegal funds, but the court is yet to rule on that matter. If the court rules that the use of illegal funds did in fact occur, then Temer will also have to step down [Reuters report], regardless of the outcome of any specific findings against him, because such a finding has the potential to reverse Rousseff’s entire campaign victory. More than 100 individuals and 50 politicians have been arrested in connection to the Petrobras [corporate website] scandal that continues to plague the country. In September the Brazil Supreme Court [official website] approved a motion [JURIST report] by prosecutors to open a preliminary investigation into accusations from Sergio Machado, former Transpetro head, that Temer sought illegal campaign donations in 2012. In August the Brazil Senate voted to convict Rousseff [JURIST op-ed] on charges that she used improper accounting to cover-up a growing budget deficit and illegal loans from state-owned banks. Earlier the same month a Brazilian judge accepted charges [JURIST report] against former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva relating to the Petrobas Oil Scandal. In May the Brazil Supreme court suspended [JURIST report] lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha after being suspected of obstructing investigations into his allegedly corrupt activities.