Brazil’s president says corruption charge is ‘soap opera’

Whether the formal accusation of corruption filed by Brazil’s top prosecutor pressures President Michel Temer to consider resigning — he has insisted he won’t and denied any wrongdoing — could depend on the reaction of lawmakers and the markets in the days and weeks ahead.

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s president dismissed corruption allegations against him as a “soap opera plot” Tuesday and sought to cast doubt on the motivations of the country’s top prosecutor a day after a scathing indictment was issued against the leader.

President Michel Temer is fighting to hold onto his job after Attorney General Rodrigo Janot filed an indictment with the Supreme Federal Tribunal on Monday. The charge sheet accuses Temer of corruption for allegedly accepting bribes from an executive at a major meatpacker in exchange for help influencing the decisions of state bodies.

The prosecutors “created a soap opera plot,” Temer said in a brief statement to reporters and allies, his first comments since the indictment was presented. “I say without fear of being wrong that the accusation is fiction.”

Relying on innuendo, Temer also implied that Janot himself might be involved in a kickback scheme. The president noted that a former aide to the prosecutor is making “millions” working with the law firm representing the company at the center of the accusations against Temer.

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“Maybe the millions in fees received weren’t only for the trusted aide, but … I will not conjecture,” Temer said.

Janot’s office said in a statement that the former aide mentioned by Temer did not take part in the JBS plea bargain negotiations. It reaffirmed the top prosecutor’s “probity, transparency and responsibility in his dealings in the public sphere.”

The president’s office did not respond to a request to elaborate.

Temer poured out a stream of adjectives to heap scorn on the…

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