Bolsonaro aide sought legal counsel for Brazil coup: Police
One of Bolsonaro's personal assistants, Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid, is being detained on suspicion of forging Bolsonaro's COVID-19 immunization card.
One of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's closest allies sought legal counsel on a military intervention that would have blocked the transfer of power after the election in October, federal police said.
Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid continued to serve as an aide for the former President even after he left office back in January and is currently being detained on suspicion of forging Bolsonaro's COVID-19 immunization card.
In a federal police investigation, it was said that Cid had "gathered documents to obtain 'legal and judicial' support for the execution of a coup d'état," according to an analysis of Cid's confiscated mobile phone.
In a statement, Cid's lawyer Bernardo Fenelon said that his client would stand his ground to investigators.
Federal police also accused the Lieutenant Colonel of "the possibility of using the armed forces, on an exceptional basis, to ensure the independent and harmonious functioning of the Powers of the Union, through the determination of the President of the Republic."
His research, which was also discovered on his phone may have served as the foundation for a detailed manual on how a potential coup could play out, authorities said.
These new findings strengthen the case that Bolsonaro's inner circle members were considering how to prevent Lula from assuming office and dethrone Brazil's federal judiciary. Police discovered a draft presidential order intended to meddle with election results in the home of former Justice Minister Anderson Torres in January.
A potential strategy for delaying Lula's inauguration on January 1 was among the information discovered on Cid's phone, as reported initially by Veja. The document in question accuses the court and media with engaging in unlawful acts to support Lula in the election, thus favoring him, as justification for such an institutional breakdown.
It also urged the appointment of an "intervener" with authority over the armed forces and other federal public security organizations in Brazil, stating that offending Supreme Court and federal electoral court justices would be looked into, dismissed, and replaced.
Brazil's army said any "opinions and personal comments do not represent the thinking of the ... chain of command, nor the official positioning of the Force." "Any conduct judged to be irregular will be dealt with in court," it added.
This comes shortly after Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes announced that Bolsonaro will face trial on June 22, 2023.
The Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) accused Bolsonaro of abusing his power to launch a systematic campaign against electoral courts and making empty claims targeting the reliability of the electronic voting system.
Bolsonaro, who has been embroiled in several legal disputes since leaving office in January, will go on trial for those remarks.