America’s most criminal presidency ended last January, with two indictments and no jail time. For a certain time.
The most criminal presidency in Brazilian history is underway, with no sign that Jair Bolsonaro could have the same fate as Lula. For a certain time.
The former president spent 580 days in prison for the work of a judge who violated the independence of the judiciary. The fact that, for the first time in history, suspected links between organized crime and the Plateau appear, also does not suggest, for the moment, that the judge has an appointment with the captain.
But a certain justice, with a small “j”, must be done, in the USA and in Brazil.
A New York tabloid has just had access to the testimonies of the CFO of Trump Organizations. Allen Weisselberg, 73, has already defined himself as “the eyes and ears” of Donald Trump’s business. He started out as an accountant for his father, Fred Trump, and for over 30 years fixed the numbers for the corrupt boss.
Two prosecutors, from Manhattan and New York State, are reviewing this accounting, and the investigation could lead to a criminal indictment for financial fraud.
It won’t be easy. But the Manhattan DA’s office has found a way to pressure loyal Weisselberg to cooperate, as he has done in the past under an immunity deal. This time his son, also involved with Trump, is vulnerable, and anyone who knows him doesn’t believe Weisselberg would sacrifice the family for the boss.
Seasoned business watchers say Trump’s accountant is the person with the greatest power to allow some justice to reach the man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans in the first ten months of the pandemic.
Genocide is the only word, albeit imperfect, available to refer to what happened, first in the United States, then in Brazil and now in India. Three fascist monsters, ruling nearly 2 billion people, have opted for mass death as the acceptable price for electoral ambition.
Better to see Trump shot down by a gray bureaucrat, because there is no appetite – nor courage – to seek his conviction for the crimes he committed in the White House.
Gangster Al Capone terrorized Chicago for seven years in the 1920s, but he failed to face the law for the more than 300 murders he committed or ordered. He was arrested and found guilty of tax evasion documented by forensic accounting.
Can a senator targeted by 17 STF investigations be the greatest danger on Jair Bolsonaro’s path? Renan Calheiros was right to say that crimes against humanity do not prescribe. He knows, however, that the president is not afraid of being judged on the 400,000 corpses that Brazil has already accumulated. There must be no appetite – nor courage – to punish the bloody Joker for Covid-19.
The real hot breath on the neck of the current resident of Brasília’s “glass house” is the accounting for the fight against the pandemic – the trail of the money and the beneficiaries – which will be on display in the IPC. Any measure of justice can help us out of the national nightmare.
Crimes against humanity were first tried when the Nazis were indicted in Nuremberg in 1945. We will never have the consolation of seeing Donald Trump, Narendra Modi or Jair Bolsonaro as accused in The Hague, in court. international criminal law.
But some calculation, albeit via accounting, is a way to mend the horror that has spread across three continents.
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