Sunday, April 11, 2021

Auditors: No Creative Accounting by Brazil’s Rousseff

By on June 27, 2016

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff signals the number 41 during an event where 41 new federal universities were launched at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, May 9, 2016. The acting speaker of the lower house of Brazil's Congress on Monday annulled last month's vote on impeachment, delaying and complicating the process that was widely expected to see Rousseff suspended later this week.  (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff signals the number 41 during an event where 41 new federal universities were launched at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, May 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Independent auditors hired by Brazil’s Senate said in a report released Monday that suspended President Dilma Rousseff didn’t engage in the creative accounting she was charged with at her impeachment trial.

For supporters of the embattled leader, the report underscores how fragile the case is.

But backers of her once ally-turned-enemy and acting President Michel Temer say that the document requested by the Senate’s impeachment commission won’t change her slim chances of returning to office.

The report says Rousseff did not delay payments to state-run banks as charged. That would have violated Brazil’s fiscal laws.

But the auditors did say that it is “without controversy” that Rousseff authored three 2015 decrees releasing additional credits without Congress’ consent. The auditors said a fourth presidential decree seemed legal.

Two-thirds of the Senate voted in May to suspend Rousseff for allegedly breaking fiscal laws. Lawmakers don’t have to follow the auditors’ findings when they vote again, probably in the end of August.

In an interview with Radio Guaiba, Rousseff said the report shows there is no legal basis to impeach her and insisted she might order a plebiscite on Brazil’s political future if she is returned to office.

“The auditors don’t even say I signed those three decrees deceitfully, which is required in our laws,” she said. “This impeachment is no more than an indirect election (of acting president Temer) in Congress.”

Rousseff, who has presided over Brazil’s worse recession in decades amid a sprawling corruption scandal at state-run oil giant Petrobras, was removed from office on May 12.

A recent plea bargain deal with a former oil executive revealed that some of her alleged allies were willing to help remove her from the presidency to stop the Petrobras probe and the possibility that they themselves could be exposed of wrongdoing.

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