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Brazilian senator recommends Rousseff be tried by Senate

A rapporteur of the Brazilian Senate’s special commission on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff advised on Tuesday that the suspended president should be submitted to trial.

Senator Antonio Anastasia, the commission’s rapporteur and a member of the opposition, presented his findings in a report and concluded that there was a crime of financial responsibility and advised that the president be put on trial.

Rousseff was accused of committing a crime of financial responsibility by resorting to fiscal measures to close the 2014 budget and ensure the payment of social benefits.

But the president’s defense stated that the fiscal measures to which the president resorted did not constitute a crime of responsibility under the Brazilian law, and that the entire impeachment process was a coup.

In this phase of the impeachment process, both the accusation and the defense present their arguments.

Senators Katia Abreu and Gleisi Hoffman, supporters of Rousseff, presented a document with conclusions much diverse from Anastasia’s. They reaffirmed the stance that the impeachment process was a coup and an aggression against the Brazilian democracy.

The two senators said several recorded calls between Sergio Machado, former head of state-owned Petrobras’ transportation company Transpetro, and high-profile opposition politicians, disclosed a couple months ago, clearly showed that the impeachment process was a maneuver orchestrated to halt the investigations of the Carwash Operation, which uncovered a huge corruption scheme at Petrobras.

Senators in the special impeachment commission will analyze Anastasia’s report and vote whether to accept his recommendation on Thursday.

Next week, the entire Senate will analyze the report and vote whether to start a trial or shelve the case.

Only a simple majority is necessary for a trial to be started. In that case, the suspended president will face trial in the Senate, presided over by the head of the Supreme Court. If the Senate approves the trial, the final trial session will take place in late August.

Rousseff was suspended by the Senate on May 11 for up to 180 days pending a decision on impeachment trial.



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