The Curitiba car wash was a big deal for the extreme right and for lobbying lawyers. Endorsed by the STF, boosted by Gilmar Mendes and miked without judgment by the press, the abuses in broad daylight by Sergio Moro and Deltan Dallagnol were not faced by higher authorities, who bowed to the frenzy against the corruption of others.
When the STF, years later, turned aside without accounting for the damage it helped cause, an impeachment and the election of an autocrat had passed. The effects were already irreversible, but they did not prevent the STF from, post-damage, emulating virtue and starting to invalidate the violations in Curitiba. It was necessary to invoke Vaza Jato as a pretext, as Moro’s political ambition and breaches of decorum had been shaking up black tie meetings for years.
Anti-javashing has become big business. By allowing itself to be captured by lobbyist lawyers and magistocratic families, it became neo-lava-jatism.
Endorsed by the STF, boosted by Gilmar Mendes and supported by an ecosystem of YouTube talk shows and legal blogs sponsored by companies punished by Lava Jato, its abuses in broad daylight have been highlighted in Dias Toffoli’s preliminary decisions in recent weeks. Toffoli suspended a R$10 billion fine from J&F; suspended fine of R$8.5 billion from Odebrecht; ordered a criminal investigation against the organization Transparency International.
There are multiple vices. By means of a monocratic injunction, which evades the court’s plenary session, Toffoli invalidated old legal acts with enormous repercussions for the public treasury.
On the merits, Toffoli avoided specific arguments in the case and embraced abstract statements about the evils of Lava Jato in Brazil; it alleges a lack of “voluntariness” in the leniency agreements, and ignores that the STF itself attested to the voluntariness of the related plea bargain agreements.
By suspending J&F’s fine based on Lava Jato’s abuses, it ignores that this fine had nothing to do with Lava Jato, but rather with Operation Greenfield. Moro and Dallagnol were not there.
Toffoli also did not consider it inappropriate to make decisions favorable to his lawyer wife’s client. STF ministers define themselves as above suspicion, even when the suspicion is the most elementary. They give up self-respect to help their poor relatives.
By ordering a civil society organization to be investigated based on disinformation that has already been refuted, it reveals an intimidating intention. Regardless of having supported Lava Jato, the organization has already had an investigation filed. Toffoli knows that his act is spurious.
Lava-jatismo and neo-lava-jatismo target different targets. This is your vain disagreement. Freud would see “narcissism of small differences”, a manufactured hostility despite intimate similarities.
Both practice “lawfare”. Both harass, threaten and violate the law. Both hide private interest behind the defense of the public interest. Both appeal to a messianic ethos and pathetically declare the objective of saving Brazil. To the myth of the judge-hero, they have now added the myth of the lawyer-hero. Manipulators of the law, stir up sectarian clashes with legal verbiage. They hate each other, and they hate being so similar. A narcissism of poorly disguised equivalences.
Neo-lava-jatism seeks to perpetuate the shadow of the danger of Lava Jato, as if the operation were about to be resurrected. “Lava Lato is not dead” has become a panic-inducing mantra, for which they offer themselves as a solution. An expensive solution.
They claim to fight partial judges and prosecutors who exploit the Public Ministry in the name of a power project. In the practice of promiscuity, however, they use their party rooms to break the impartiality of judges who decide important cases for their clients. They also have a power project, especially purchasing power.
The phenomenon is old and was not invented by Sergio Moro, Deltan Dallagnol, Gilmar Mendes, Dias Toffoli and the lobbyist lawyers. Instrumentalizing the law for political and economic purposes, and hiding the trick under the rhetoric of technical authority, is a degeneration present in States of Law out there. A good Rule of Law depends on the quality of legislation, but above all on the intellectual and moral fiber of its operators.
Neo-lava-jatism tends to react to criticism with the threat of civil and criminal liability. Because the prerogatives of law would be above any prerogatives of citizenship. A modest proof of his jet-washing gene. Robust evidence is for another day.
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