Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ World https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Bolsonaro Ally resigned after Covid Cash, found in pants

Bolsonaro Ally resigned after Covid Cash, found in pants

Senator Chico Rodriguez, right, with the son of President Jair Bolsonaro, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, left, in 2019.

Photographer: Andre Coelho / Bloomberg

Presidential Senate Deputy Jair Bolsonaro has resigned after Brazil̵

7;s federal police caught him with Covid aid money crammed into his pants, local media reported.

The government confirmed on Thursday afternoon that Senator Chico Rodriguez was under investigation for embezzling 20 million reais ($ 3.5 million) in public funds to fight the pandemic. Supreme Court Judge Luis Roberto Barroso removed Rodriguez from his 90-day term as an MP while the investigation continues.

Rodriguez searched his residence in the northern state of Roraima on Wednesday as part of the investigation. In a statement, he said he would resign while working to prove his innocence.

The operation comes less than a week after Bolsonaro said he was ending Carwash’s long-running investigation in Brazil because his administration was free of corruption. On Thursday, the president said a police investigation shows his team continues to fight corruption and is not involved in any violations.

“My government is cabinet members, state-owned companies and banks,” he said.

Still, the incident risks drawing attention to the Bolsonaro administration’s claims of purity, according to Andre Cesar, an independent political analyst.

“This weakens the state’s position on corruption,” Cesar said. “And with regard to the political coalition, this complicates the situation in Congress, especially at a time when they have important reforms and a budget to vote for.”

Read more: Bolsonaro says Brazil is free of corruption, car wash probe ends

Cesar said Rodriguez is an experienced and reliable politician, adding that changing leaders at the moment could be traumatic for the legislature. Last year the senator too leads a delegation of five deputies on a trip to China at all costs, with the kind assistance of the Chinese Government, if a showroom belonging to Huawei Technologies Co.

The police operation includes searches of the homes and offices of other politicians in the state of Roraima, where 52,848 people have been infected with the coronavirus, killing 676 people so far. According to local media, more than 30,000 reais ($ 5,500) were found in the legislator’s home. Barroso’s decision said some of the bills were found in the senator’s underwear.

(Add content to Barroso’s decision in graf 2 and a police investigation ended in the last graf.)

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