Brazil’s New Top Prosecutor Inherits Politically Explosive Cases

Mr. Temer, who accused Mr. Janot of leading a baseless crusade against him, looked ecstatic on Monday as he presided over the change of guard. Joining him in welcoming the new top prosecutor were Rodrigo Maia, the head of the house, called the Chamber of Deputies, and Eunício Oliveira, the leader of the Senate. Both politicians are also under investigation in the sprawling corruption case known as Lava Jato, or Car Wash.

During her speech, Ms. Dodge, the first woman to become attorney general in Brazil, did not mention Lava Jato by name. But she alluded to the legacy of the case by saying that Brazilians today “do not tolerate corruption and not only expect, but demand, results.”

Last month, the president expressed hope that under Ms. Dodge, Lava Jato, which has ensnarled scores of politicians and business leaders since it began in 2014, would “correct course.” But on Monday, Mr. Temer said it gave him “great pleasure” to listen to Ms. Dodge’s speech, which he described as a “lecture.”

He appeared to make an oblique reference to the Janot era by warning about the risks of “abuse of authority” by law enforcement officials. And he seemed to find comfort in a brief passage of Ms. Dodge’s remarks in which she said that “harmony between powers” of government “is a requirement for the stability of the nation.”

In a break with tradition, Mr. Janot, who served two terms, did not attend the swearing-in ceremony for his successor.

Since 2003, Brazilian presidents have appointed attorneys general for two-year terms based on a list of three names submitted by the National Association of Prosecutors, which comes up with the shortlist through a vote. The process was established by tradition, not law, and gives the attorney general a significant degree of independence.

Alan Mansur, the head of the association, hailed Mr. Janot’s legacy, saying he “demonstrated that no one, not cabinet members, members of Congress or the president is outside the reach of the law.”

Mr. Mansur said he anticipated that Ms. Dodge, who earned a master’s degree from Harvard, would be more “discreet” in style than Mr. Janot, who was at times combative and blunt. But regarding the new top prosecutor as a pushover would be a mistake, he said.

“Lava Jato is not threatened by the new team of Raquel Dodge,” Mr. Mansur said. “I am even certain that there will be a natural improvement of the institutions and the fight against corruption.”

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