Jair Bolsonaro
Ex-president Jair Bolsonaro is accused by Brazilian authorities of planning a coup Photo by: AFP/Mauro Pimentel

An explosive investigation on former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, his military team and cabinet members regarding plans to hold on to power regardless of the results of the 2022 election is revealing new, explosive content: a new video shared by Brazilian police shows Bolsonaro claiming that "if we don't act, there will be chaos," referencing his intention to not recognize the elections.

In the video, a furious Bolsonaro is seen yelling at his fellow ministers, encouraging them to take action to prevent "electoral theft." The then-president argued that the Supreme Court, the Superior Electoral Court, and then-candidate, now-President, Luiz Lula da Silva himself, were in cahoots to guarantee his victory.

"We can't win the elections with people throwing bricks to our players' bleachers" Bolsonaro said in the video, alluding to the alleged election fraud. "It's difficult for us to win a game like this."

Brazilian police claim that efforts by the former president to overthrow the government included spreading disinformation about voter fraud, drafting legal arguments for new elections, recruiting military personnel to support a coup, surveilling judges and encouraging and guiding protesters who eventually raided government buildings.

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 provided information that is now surfacing. Brazilian press reported that, before the polls, 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.

Bolsonaro's beliefs on the result of the 2022 election are not new. In fact, he has been spreading this message of "electoral theft" since the campaign.

In the video, Bolsonaro does not explicitly mention a coup, but rather a plan to react to his opponent's eventual victory.

"All the opinions of the President have been public. All his opinions and comments are part of democracy," a supporter of Bolsonaro told La Politica Online. "It is absolutely clear that the President condemns and rejects any use of force."

Nevertheless, the Federal Police does not believe his comments to be benign.

"He talks about reacting. He doesn't trust the Court or the TSE. So what would reaction be?" a member of the Federal Police told the online news outlet. "There's two possibilities: the use of force or the repudiation of the results and social chaos, which did happen."

The accusations against the Liberal Party member are part of allegations contained in a 134-page court order that authorized a sweeping federal police operation on Thursday that targeted Bolsonaro and about two dozen of his political allies, including Brazil's former defense minister, former national security adviser, former justice minister and former head of the Navy.

The operation involved search warrants and arrest warrants for four people, including two Army officers and two of Bolsonaro's former top aides.

Bolsonaro was ordered to hand over his passport, to remain in the country, and to have no contact with any other people under investigation.

"I left the government more than a year ago and I continue to suffer relentless persecution," the former president told Folha de São Paulo, a Brazilian newspaper. "Forget about me. There is already someone else running the country."

Despite the constant claims made by Bolsonaro, there is no evidence that fraud occurred during the 2022 presidential elections.

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