A controversial visit and meeting of two branches of government, on Saturday, was reported in the Brazilian media. In effect last Saturday afternoon president Michel Temer made a visit to the head of the Federal Supreme Tribunal Carmen Lucia at her residence, and was not conducted as part of the President’s official schedule.
The visit took place five days after Supreme Tribunal Justice Luís Roberto Barroso allowed police to investigate Temer’s financial records. It is the first time in the history of the Brazilian republic that an acting president has had his financial records opened by judicial order.
The order to open Temer’s financial records took place in the course of an investigation into Presidential Decree 595, which refers to the Provisional Port Law. According to investigators, Temer allegedly issued the decree to favor Rodrimar company in the port of Santos.
According to Agencia Brasil, the two top officials spoke about public security and the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro.
“Temer said that he was committed to collaborate on issues of security, in Rio as well as in other states. The two also talked about the situation in Brazilian prisons, according to the President’s press secretary,” reported Agencia Brasil.
However last week Brazil's Minister of Justice, Torquato Jardim criticized the decision of Supreme Court Justice Luís Roberto Barroso to lift bank and fiscal secrecy on the president's accounts between 2013 and 2017, in an inquiry investigating the alleged payment of bribes regarding the country's port sector.
It is the first time this happens to a Brazilian president. We must have a very clear and objective knowledge of the reasons that lead to lifting secrecy; however, only of the period he was in office. Otherwise suspicion against the president's position will arise. The president has essential duties as chief of state and they are affected by this suspicion, which has no grounds, says Jardim.
Justice Barroso cited the Brazilian constitution to base his argument. ”If everyone is equal, then there should be no Paragraph 4, Article 86 (in which the president, while in office, cannot be held accountable for acts not connected to his duties as president).”
Minister Jardim said Federal Attorney General, Raquel Dodge, should follow the steps of her predecessor, Rodrigo Janot. Unlike Janot, Dodge has ordered President Temer to be included in the inquiry investigating transfers made by construction company Odebrecht to Temer's party (MDB) in 2014, before Temer took office.