Carlos Bolsonaro, son of Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro, whispers in his father's ear.Bruna Prado/AP

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Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro probably wishes he was still in Florida right now. On the same day the US Supreme Court considers whether Donald Trump should be on the ballot because of his role in connection to January 6, his “great friend” and Brazilian counterpart has been ordered to surrender his passport.

On Thursday, the police unveiled new accusations against Brazil’s defeated leader as part of a sweeping search-and-seizure operation linked to an ongoing federal investigation—overseen by the Supreme Court—into Bolsonaro and his allies’ alleged coup-like efforts to overturn the results of the 2022 elections.

The police accused those under investigation of “criminal organization that acted in an attempt to stage a coup d’état and abolish the Democratic Rule of Law” to keep Bolsonaro in power. They arrested two of Bolsonaro’s former aides and instructed him not to contact the other targets of the operation. Police officials who spoke to the Washington Post said the plot to undermine Brazil’s democracy “was far more advanced than previously known.” 

An order signed by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes authorizing the operation states that Bolsonaro had access to and made requests for edits on a draft decree to subvert the election results and seek the arrest of Moraes, another justice, and the Senate leader. The decree was then presented to military commanders.

The investigation cites Bolsonaro’s baseless attacks on the integrity of the Brazilian electronic system as evidence of coordinated efforts to “enable and legitimize a military intervention.” The former President went so far as to hold a meeting with dozens of foreign diplomats in July 2022 to raise suspicion of fraud. The police also reportedly have access to video of a meeting in which Bolsonaro claims he would “walk onto the field using my army, my 23 ministers…” 

“I left office more than a year ago, and I’m still suffering implacable prosecution,” Bolsonaro, who has been ruled ineligible to run for office until 2030 and is currently at his vacation home in a beach town outside of Rio de Janeiro, told the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. “Forget me, you now have another person governing the country.”

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Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

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