The office of Brazil's President Michel Temer issued a statement Wednesday (May 17) saying Temer “never asked for payments to hush former deputy Eduardo Cunha,” who is jailed in Curitiba for his role in the “Car Wash” corruption scandal.
Earlier in the evening, O Globo newspaper online reported that Temer was recorded at a meeting with businessman Joesley Batista, owner of giant meatpacker JBS, suggesting former lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha and currency dealer Lúcio Funaro should continue to receive monthly payments to keep quiet.
The statement said the president “has not been involved in nor authorized any moves with the aim of preventing the former congressman from whistleblowing or signing plea bargain statements.”
According to the presidency, the meeting with Batista was in early March at Jaburu palace, the presidential residence. “There was nothing in the conversation that could discredit the President of the Republic for his conduct.”
The statement went on to say Temer “supports extensive and thorough investigation on all the allegations reported on the press, and anyone proved to have been involved in wrongdoing should be held accountable.”
Batista was reported by O Globo to have signed a plea bargain statement with federal prosecutors and produced recordings proving the allegations.
Translated by Mayra Borges