Jair Bolsonaro
Brazil's former President Jair Bolsonaro. Twitter

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's legal troubles have gotten bigger on Thursday, following a large-scale raid by federal police in the context of an investigation of plans by the then-head of State to stage a coup d'etat after losing the 2022 elections against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The developments come after Mauro Cid, a former aid of Bolsonaro, entered a plea deal in the case about five months ago. In order to see leniency as a result of his involvement, Cid said that Bolsonaro received the draft of a decree that would call for new elections and imprison opposition members.

According to La Política Online, Bolsonaro then took the document to the army's top brass. The Navy's top officer, Admiral Almir Garnier, supported the measure, but was the only one to do so and the plan didn't materialize.

Following Cid's statements, police conducted 33 raids across the country. Bolsonaro wasn't among the subjects, but he was told to surrender his passport. Police also issued for preemptive arrest warrants, one of which is destined to Filipe Martins, Bolsonaro's special aide for international affairs.

Federal police issued a statement saying the actions are related to an alleged criminal enterprise that "acted to attempt a coup" and sought to keep Bolsonaro in power after his defeat against Lula da Silva.

Supporters of Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro forced their way into the national Congress building in Brasilia
Supporters of Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro forced their way into the national Congress building in Brasilia after overwhelming police who fired tear gas in a bid to repel the demonstrators. Photo by: AFP/Evaristo Sa

The group, it added, was preparing to claim electoral fraud, something that would have paved the way for a military intervention. It would have also arrested Supreme Court Justices Alexander De Moraes and Gilmar Mendes, as well as Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco.

Current President Lula da Silva was asked about the developments on Thursday. He said that it wasn't his place to comment on an ongoing investigation, but that the insurrection that took place in Brasilia on January 8, 2023, couldn't have happened without Bolsonaro's participation.

Outraged over Bolsonaro's loss to Lula in Brazil's polarizing October 30 runoff, thousands of his supporters overwhelmed security to storm the seat of power in Brasilia a week after Lula's inauguration, calling for a military intervention to oust the newly installed president.

They ran riot inside the three buildings, smashing windows, throwing furniture into fountains, vandalizing artworks and turning the Senate's central dais into a slide.

Bolsonaro, who was in the United States at the time, has rejected any wrongdoing. In June, electoral authorities barred him from running for office for eight years over his unproven allegations that Brazil's electronic voting system was vulnerable to large-scale fraud.

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