BRASILIA – Brazil’s new attorney general, Raquel Dodge, took office on Monday at a ceremony attended by President Michel Temer, who recently became the target of a second accusation of alleged corruption that is currently in the hands of the Supreme Court.
The 56-year-old Dodge, who has a reputation as a tough prosecutor, was flanked at the ceremony by Temer and the heads of the Senate and lower house, Eunicio Oliveira and Rodrigo Maia, respectively, who are also being investigated for alleged corruption, along with Supreme Court president Carmen Lucia Antunes, who is overseeing those cases.
The new AG called the country’s current situation one of “purging” a political system that is beset by scandals, saying that she was “aware of the enormous task” ahead of her.
According to Dodge, just as “many attorneys general assumed their posts in times of peace,” she is doing so “amid some heavy storms” that she promised to face by relying on “the Constitution and the laws.”
The new AG replaced Rodrigo Janot in the post, who during his 2013-2017 term in office launched Operation Car Wash, which revealed the huge corruption network embedded within the state-run oil company, Petrobras, which has resulted in prison terms for dozens of politicians and big businessmen.
During his last two weeks in the post, Janot filed new charges against former Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, and also against Temer, whom he had already accused of passive corruption, although that initial accusation had been blocked by the lower house, where a government-supporting majority of lawmakers hold sway.
Last Thursday, in his final days in the AG post, Janot filed new charges against Temer for alleged obstruction of justice and illicit association, which the Supreme Court will analyze to determine if the case should be sent to the Chamber of Deputies.
If that occurs, and lawmakers rule against him, Temer could be removed from office just a little over a year after he replaced Rousseff, who was ousted due to financial irregularities.
Political analysts in Brazil, however, feel that achieving Temer’s removal will be virtually impossible, given that the governing party holds a majority in parliament.