The speeches and excuses of former President Lula (PT) about the two major scandals of the PT governments, the monthly allowance and gasoline, have been adjusted over the years and have a different tone depending on the political moment experienced.
There was a hesitation on the part of PT between a more explicit denial that there were deviations in their governments and a moderate tone of acknowledgment of the problems, always except that he was unaware of the illegal activities that were taking place.
In the case of the monthly allowance, there was even a public apology at the height of the crisis, in August 2005.
On the 25th, in an interview with the Jornal Nacional marked by nods to the electorate from the center, the former president was asked about these two topics. With regard to the most recent, he said that the presence of corruption cannot be denied if those involved in the scheme confessed.
With regard to the case of the 2000s, he evaded and objected by comparing the amounts associated with the budget rapporteur’s amendments paid by the government of Jair Bolsonaro (PL).
These are new approaches to the two glasses that have influenced PT candidates in several presidential elections.
The monthly allowance was an illegal political finance scheme to bribe parliamentarians and secure support for the PT during the first presidential term (2003-2006). Roberto Jefferson (PTB-RJ), then-Federal Deputy, spoke about this in 2005 in an interview Sheet.
At the time, Lula first hinted in an interview in Paris that the electoral fraud fund was being distributed among the parties in the country. “What PT has done from a selective point of view is being systematically done in Brazil.”
A few weeks later, under pressure, he, along with the ministers, issued a statement in which he stated that he was outraged by “revelations that shock the country.” The announcement came after his then-marketer, Duda Mendonsa, told CPI that he had received payment from PT through an overseas bribery fund.
“I feel betrayed. I was betrayed by an unacceptable practice that I never knew about, ”Lula said at the time.
Because the case threatened his re-election, he gave a speech about how PT was wrong, but did not name a specific culprit.
The tone has changed over the years. In 2010, while still president, he described the political crisis he had experienced as a “coup attempt.”
The Supreme Court ended the monthly allowance trial in 2013, awarding 25 people, including former minister José Dirceu, coordinator of the successful 2002 campaign Waldemar Costa Neto (Poland).
After leaving office when supporters’ convictions were confirmed in the STF, Lula went on to say that he was tried at the polls after Dilma Rousseff’s victory in the 2010 elections.
In 2018, in an interview published in the book A Verdade Vencerá, he went even further: “Actually, I never believed in the story of the monthly allowance. It was a great discovery of the 21st century: how the media can be used to criminalize people before justice. The media made the decision, instead of waiting for justice to introduce criminal liability, to turn some of the leaders of the PT into bandits.”
In the case of the Lava Jato finds, Lula and his supporters were more inspired to challenge the operation in 2021 when the Federal Supreme Court (STF) overturned the convictions and said former judge Sergio Moro acted in part against the former president.
Apart from the allegations leveled against him that the contractors repaired the farm and the triplex, the thesis of the authorities of Operation Love Jato, repeated so far in court documents, including in the Supreme Court, is that there was a cartel of construction companies in Petrobras in which there was payment of bribes, part of which went to parties with whom the then directors of the state-owned company were connected – PT, PP and MDB.
At the end of 2021, the company said that the total amount recovered as a result of cooperation agreements, indulgence and repatriation from Lava Jato was BRL 6.17 billion.
In testimony given during the operation, Lula stated that the President of the Republic had no direct contact with the second-level leaders. As for the directors’ appointments, he said the names were determined in political agreements that dealt with parliamentary benches, ministers and internal organ reviews.
He stated that if he had known about the bribe, the Petrobras and PT agents would have been arrested much earlier. He stressed that neither the police, nor the public ministry, nor the press had previously reported on the alleged violations in the company and that they had no opportunity to find out about it.
“No president of the republic interferes with the specific work of Petrobras,” he said in a 2018 deposition while in prison.
Lula was jailed for 580 days between 2018 and 2019 as a result of a conviction by former Judge Moro in the triplex case. He was released when the Supreme Court began to prohibit the arrest of defendants convicted in the second instance, and was able to wait for the hearing of appeals at large.
In March 2021, his sentences were overturned. Prior to this, the disclosure of dialogues between the leaders of the operation in the Telegram application, on The Intercept Brasil website and other means such as Sheet, enhanced Lula and PT’s speech against Lava Jato. The conversations showed, between points, cooperation between the then Judge Moreau and the prosecutors responsible for the charges.
Lula and his lawyers began to frequently question the relationship between the Lava Jato investigators and the US Department of Justice.
“Every day there is more and more evidence of American interference from Brazilian oil interests,” reads a video posted in 2020 by the former president on social media.
During a trip to Mexico this year and on other occasions, Lula said that the discovery of the pre-salt layer in his government was the reason for the impeachment of Dilma in 2016 and the impeachment of her presidential candidacy in 2018.
In 2021, PT released a book called “Memorial da Verdade” about Lava Jato, consisting of a kind of militant campaign manual.
The material stated that there was neither systemic corruption in Petrobras, nor overpricing in contracts, contrary to what the Accounts Chamber of the Union and the state-owned company itself allege.
At a press conference in Brasilia, PT president Glacey Hoffmann stated that “there were no deviations from Petrobras”.
Regarding former directors who blocked accounts abroad to receive bribes, he said: “Whoever has committed illegal acts and incriminated himself should respond to their processes.”
“It is very ridiculous to say that in our time, Petrobras was a den of corruption. But in our time, gasoline was cheap, ”the federal deputy said then.
It also differed from the tone adopted by then-PT 2018 presidential candidate Fernando Haddad, who ran after Lula’s deregistration in the electoral system.
Due to the pressure on PT in the pre-election polls, Haddad even rehearsed a speech in which he acknowledged the problems.
He said that Petrobras lacked control and that Moreau had done a “good job” although he was wrong to condemn Lula.
Lula’s allies say that today, after victories in justice, he feels more comfortable talking about the case.
During the trial, the PT member withdrew under the guidance of his lawyers. They argue that any acknowledgment of deviations at Petrobras could be misinterpreted as an acknowledgment, which is contrary to the defense strategy.
Regarding the interview with Jornal Nacional, they state that the fact that host William Bonner said that Lula owed nothing to justice contributed to the dialogue.
However, the former president’s staff is trying to minimize the idea that Lula changed his speech for the convenience of the campaign, arguing that recognition of the deviations from the directors of Petrobras was already included in the book “Memorial da Verdade”.
Lula’s election leadership does not intend to introduce corruption into the election program. As a kind of vaccine, this topic will be covered in inserts that will be broadcast on radio and television. “The truth came out: Lula won all the cases and was recognized all over the world, even at the UN,” the article says.
PT also decided to air interstitial images of reports on the Bolsonaro family’s ancestral evolution, especially UOL’s history of buying real estate with cash.
collaborated Katya Sibra, from Sao Paulo