Bolsonaro sought to protect family from being ‘screwed’ by police: video

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Protest against the President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia, Brazilian Supreme Court, quarantine and social distancing measures in Brasilia
FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro looks on during a protest against the President of the Chamber of Deputies Rodrigo Maia, Brazilian Supreme Court, quarantine and social distancing measures, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

May 22, 2020

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Bolsonaro told his ministers he was unwilling to see his family or friends get “screwed” due to his inability to change his own law enforcement officials, according to a video released by a Supreme Court justice on Friday.

In the recording of an April 22 ministerial meeting, Bolsonaro said it was his prerogative to change law enforcement officials, their bosses or even a minister.

“I’ve tried to change our security people in Rio de Janeiro officially, and I wasn’t able to. That’s over. I won’t wait for my family or my friends to get screwed,” Bolsonaro said. “End of story. We’re not kidding around.”

The video is a key component of a criminal probe against Bolsonaro into allegations by his former Justice Minister Sergio Moro, who quit last month and alleged the president had tried to change senior members of the federal police.

Before becoming president, Bolsonaro represented the state of Rio as a federal lawmaker for nearly 30 years. His son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, also got his start there, and is under investigation for alleged corruption.

Supreme Court Justice Celso de Mello ordered the partial release of the video on Friday afternoon, excluding certain sections related to countries with which Brazil has diplomatic ties with, the court said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

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