Deltan: Minister handed over my head for a vacancy in the STF – 05/23/2023 – Power
Federal deputy Deltan Dallagnol (Podemos-PR) claims that the seven ministers of the TSE (Superior Electoral Court) agreed behind the scenes on the decision to withdraw his mandate even before the issue was judged by the full court.
Deltan, former coordinator of the Lava Jato task force, directs the harshest criticisms to the rapporteur of the process, Minister Benedito Gonçalves. “The minister conducting the vote brought a vote that aims to hand over my head in exchange for the perspective of strengthening his candidacy for the Supreme Court”, says Deltan in an interview with Sheet.
The unanimous decision took place on the 16th. According to the congressman, the other six members of the electoral court were influenced by the Lula government. Deltan says he remains hopeful that the members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors will decide to ignore the TSE’s decision to keep him in office.
As mr. did you evaluate the decision of the TSE that revoked your mandate? The decision offends not only the law, not only the Constitution, but it offends what is most sacred in democracy, which is the power of the population expressed by voting. When a court does this outside the legal framework, it is endangering our democracy.
The law is clear, it is objective, it says that a member of the Public Ministry who leaves pending an administrative disciplinary process becomes ineligible. In my situation, it didn’t exist. Every rule that restricts a right must be interpreted in a restrictive, never expansive way. It is as if people at Lava Jato had accused people of corruption in relation to facts that do not constitute corruption. They made four successive assumptions. It was an exercise in futurology combined with mind reading.
Doesn’t the fact that the decision was unanimous empty this speech? The starting point of this is to recognize that there is unity around this decision, which is the unanimity that it broke the law. All major newspapers in the country made editorials in this regard, people who defended Lava Jato and others who were critical of the operation also shared this understanding.
International bodies such as Transparency International have stated that this decision puts democracy at risk. The decision came as a surprise not only to me, but to everyone who had studied this case.
The fact that there was unanimity in this decision taken in 66 seconds shows that it was combined. Even more than, in visits to ministers [do TSE]there was a minister who assured us that his position was that I was eligible and that he would not agree with any political decision that went against the law.
Which minister? Was it just one? I will never expose people who talk behind the scenes with me without their authorization.
Mr. so you accuse the ministers of having agreed on the decision behind the scenes instead of discussing it only in public session? A uniform decision when there is unanimity to the contrary, in 66 seconds, makes the conclusion the same as the one for which Minister Marco Aurélio Mello pointed out: this decision was combined. She was combined and guided by interests.
The technical misunderstanding of the decision, the fact that the previous votes and opinions were unanimous in the opposite direction, the bad feeling nurtured by superior court ministers towards me and Lava Jato, the quick trial time without debates, the intention to revenge declared by the government and investigated, are reasons that together lead me to believe that the interpretation of Minister Marco Aurélio is, in general, correct.
What would those interests be? The starting point are the two vacancies that are open to be filled in the STF [Supremo Tribunal Federal]coveted by ministers who were there [no TSE]either to occupy them or to indicate who occupied them.
The President of the Republic has immense power in his hand when choosing the members of the STF. And this power of appointment means that many ministers, many authorities, will dance to the music that the President of the Republic decides to play; and the President of the Republic has already played a very clear song at different times, which is the song of revenge against Lava Jato.
This made the leading minister of the vote [Benedito Gonçalves] brought a vote that aims to hand over my head in exchange for the prospect of strengthening his candidacy for a seat on the STF, in a context that we need to remember. This minister should have declared himself a suspect for having been the target, according to the press, of a denunciation within the scope of Lava Jato and in a context in which we already see several signs of friendship and proximity between this minister and President Lula himself.
But the other six ministers followed the rapporteur’s vote. In addition to the interests of this specific minister, we need to understand that there are other interests of ministers in nominating people for vacancies in the STF; and we need to understand that several of the most powerful names in the Republic are people who were investigated in Lava Jato and whose interests were affected by Lava Jato.
Does the narrative that this was an orchestration by Lula out of revenge not lose strength in the face of the fact that three ministers appointed by former President Jair Bolsonaro also voted for impeachment? When I entered the Chamber, a colleague of mine from the party was in the elevator and Eduardo Cunha entered [ex-presidente da Câmara e preso na Lava Jato]. Eduardo Cunha looked at that person and said: we are going to revoke Deltan.
When I was impeached, the whole system celebrated, people from different parties who had been accused. Without the support of these politicians and parties, these ministers would never have been there.
In the routine of nominating, choosing and supporting someone to reach a higher court, ministers will go through the offices of different influential politicians. There are ministers who, once there, enjoy a lifetime, will follow their principles and values and others will be open to compositions of a political nature.
The rule determines that, now, it is only up to the Chamber to accept the impeachment decision. Mr. Do you see any way out to reverse the loss of mandate? There are three reversal possibilities. The most concrete possibility is, within a week or two that separate us from the impeachment of the Chamber, the seven members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber decide to defend Parliament and defend democracy, not executing this decision —even following some precedents from the past in which the Board took weeks, months or even more than a year to execute the impeachment decision.
Do you think it’s possible for that to happen? Parliament is the home of the people, it represents the people and has the mission of defending the people’s power that put it there. Within this context, I believe that anything is possible if people mobilize and demonstrate.
The Board attempted to notify Mr. three times and was unsuccessful. Mr. are you trying to evade notification to postpone compliance with the decision? Of course not. They came to my office on Thursday when I was in meetings with the party and lawyers and I traveled back to my base, which is Curitiba.
On Thursday itself, when Internal Affairs came here to make the notification, the Internal Affairs representative was shaking, because even she couldn’t believe what was happening. And the civil servants who attended here stated that it was routine to allow a date to be scheduled for personal notification with the parliamentarian.
Immediately, based on that information, we placed an appointment request. On Sunday, I called the inspector [deputado Domingos Neto], I sent a message, which informed me that he was busy and could not answer at that time. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear back.
On Monday, when I was at party meetings in Curitiba, the internal affairs officers came to carry out the third notification. Something that deviates from the standard of the House, according to what was informed by the Internal Affairs employee who came here. And the question that arises is: why is my case being treated differently, in the Judiciary and here in the Chamber of Deputies? And the answer everyone knows what it is.
Mr. Do you have any self-criticism in relation to Lava Jato’s performance? In the case of Lula specifically, the processes were annulled with favorable votes from ministers who usually defend the operation, such as Luís Roberto Barroso and Edson Fachin. There were three or four criminal charges against Lula in Lava Jato. In the first, there was a conviction by a court of first instance, confirmation of the conviction by three judges and reconfirmation by four justices [do Superior Tribunal de Justiça].
These accusations were brought before three different courts over many years. The same standards that were applied to Lula were applied to all others investigated in Lava Jato, following the law and court decisions that legitimized it.
The STF, when it withdrew the Lula case from Curitiba, was inconsistent with the other decisions it had taken in Lava Jato. If the STF’s decision in Lula’s case were applied strictly as a new understanding, it would annul the entire Lava Jato. When the STF decided that the jurisdiction could no longer fall to the Federal Court, I warned at the time that, if you were to apply this understanding to all cases, you would annul everything. But they are choosing the cases that they annul, they are acting selectively.
When I look at Minister Fachin’s decisions, he was defeated in the vast majority of cases, defending that the corrupt were held responsible, he was a great defender of the accountability of the big corrupt. I say the same about Minister Barroso, he is an extremely consistent person over time.
Mr. Do you see any parallels between Lava Jato and the performance of the STF, which has adopted heterodox measures, mainly in investigations under the responsibility of Minister Alexandre de Moraes? What was discussed at Lava Jato were nuances, there was nothing like what is happening today.
In Lava Jato, there has never been an arrest that lasted a month without charge, while we had a recent case of four months in prison. There was never a generic accusation against people, without individualizing the conduct, and now we have hundreds of people accused without specific evidence.
We have never had decisions censoring companies. There were never ex-officio decisions or without Lava Jato having competence. Today we see STF decisions without any perspective or argument that justifies competence. Lava Jato acted within the law. Now what we are seeing are decisions that violate the rule of law.
DELTAN DALLAGNOL, 43
Affiliated with Podemos, he was coordinator of the Lava Jato task force at the Federal Public Ministry from 2014 to 2020. He left the position of prosecutor to contest the 2022 elections. He ran for deputy for Paraná and cast 344,000 votes. He was unanimously impeached by the TSE on the grounds that he defrauded the Clean Record Law.