Brazilian leader's ally nabbed with nearly $8G stuffed in underwear during anti-corruption raid

October 18, 2020 

A Brazilian lawmaker stepped down from his position representing President Jair Bolsonaro's government and was suspended from the senate, after police searched his house and found cash inside the underwear he was wearing.

Federal police targeted Roraima state's Sen. Chico Rodrigues as part of a probe into the alleged misappropriation of COVID-19 funds, according to the 90-day suspension issued by Luis Roberto Barroso, a justice on Brazil's Supreme Court.

Police initially found 10,000 reais ($1,780) and $6,000 inside a safe in Rodrigues' house Wednesday, at which point the lawmaker asked if he could go to the bathroom, according to the police report, part of which is included in Barroso's ruling. As Rodrigues walked away, a police officer noticed a large, rectangular bulge under the senator's shorts.

"Found inside his underwear, near his buttocks, were stacks of money that totaled 15,000 reais ($2,675)," the report says. The ruling was reviewed by The Associated Press.

ITALIAN WOMAN JAILED FOR SPIKING COWORKER'S COFFEE IN ATTEMPT TO HAVE HER FIRED

Asked three times whether he had any additional cash stowed, the senator angrily shoved his hand into his underwear to retrieve more stacks of bills, which totaled 17,900 reais ($3,200), according to the report.

A subsequent police search turned up another 250 reais ($45) from inside his underwear. There is video of that search, which Barroso wrote in his ruling he was declining to provide to the senate as it was "well within his (Rodrigues') intimate clothing? and could cause ?greater discomfort.?

Barroso wrote that Rodrigues' decision to hide the money indicated impropriety and had raised the possibility of decreeing preventative imprisonment. The senate can vote to reverse the suspension.

"My home was invaded for having done my job as a lawmaker, getting resources for the state to combat COVID-19," Rodrigues said in a statement. "I believe in justice and I will prove that I have nothing to do with any illicit act."

Earlier Thursday, Rodrigues resigned as deputy leader of Bolsonaro's government in the senate, according to the nation's official gazette.

Bolsonaro won the presidency in large part due to his vow to take on crime and corruption. However, his dedication to crimefighting has faced skepticism after his justice minister, Sergio Moro, resigned earlier this year, alleging Bolsonaro had sought to intervene improperly in the federal police. There are also investigations underway that target Bolsonaro's sons, who are lawmakers.

Late Wednesday, shortly before the first news report from online site Crusoe appeared about the police raid on Rodrigues' house, Bolsonaro said he would deliver a kick to the neck of anyone in his government found to be corrupt.

FORMER BRAZIL PRESIDENT LULA OFFERS TO BACK ANY CANDIDATE WHO CAN BEAT BOLSONARO IN ELECTION

In the capital, Brasilia, Bolsonaro repeated his claim Thursday that his government hasn't been marred by the scandals as have previous administrations. He also said that, unlike ministers and heads of state-owned enterprises, Rodrigues doesn't form part of his government.

"We are combating corruption; it makes no difference who the person is," Bolsonaro said when asked about Rodrigues' case, adding the investigation was a point of pride.

Rodrigues is a member of the joint congressional committee tasked with executing the budget for COVID-19 measures. ___ Biller reported from Rio de Janeiro

Latest News

October 22, 2020
Virginia teachers' union calls for schools to remain virtual for after district schedules return to campus

A teachers' union in Virginia is calling for a school district to reevaluate its plans for students and teachers to return to classrooms next month, saying that health data does not support the move. In a virtual town hall this week, Fairfax County Schools Superintendent Scott Brabrand laid out plans for a gradual resumption of […]

Read More
October 22, 2020
Rudy Giuliani Denies He Did Anything Wrong in New 'Borat' Movie

President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, has become caught up in Sacha Baron Cohen's new "Borat" satire, shown in an edited scene following an actress impersonating a reporter into a bedroom and at one point reclining on the bed and putting his hands in his pants in what he later said was an attempt […]

Read More
October 22, 2020
Top US universities investigated for underreporting foreign funding
Read More
October 22, 2020
Trump, who sparred with North Carolina officials over virus restrictions, returns for a rally.

President Trump will hold a rally Wednesday night in Gastonia, N.C., in a state whose officials he clashed with earlier this year over the Republican National Convention, which was scheduled to be held there. The president balked at their demands that convention-goers follow social-distancing measures intended to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Mr. Trump […]

Read More
October 22, 2020
Trumps Holds Campaign Rally In North Carolina | NBC News
Read More
October 22, 2020
Iran and Russia Seek to Influence Election in Final Days, U.S. Officials Warn

WASHINGTON -- Iran and Russia have both obtained American voter registration data, top national security officials announced late on Wednesday, providing the first concrete evidence that the two countries are stepping in to try to influence the presidential election as it enters its final two weeks. Iran used the information to send threatening, faked emails […]

Read More
crossmenuchevron-down