The latest scandal to befall Mr. Temer, who became president after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff last year, unfolded in May when O Globo, a newspaper, reported that the president had been caught on tape appearing to endorse efforts to obstruct a corruption investigation.
The secret recording was made by Joesley Batista, an heir to the JBS empire, during a late night meeting at the president’s residence in Brasília. During the conversation, Mr. Temer indicated that Mr. Batista should deal with Mr. Loures for help with his company’s problems.
The report said that after the meeting, Mr. Loures then intervened with a government antitrust body to help resolve a problem that a power plant owned by J&F Investments, the holding company that controls JBS, was having getting gas supplied by Petrobras, Brazil’s state-run oil company. The suitcase of money was the first of a series of weekly payments, the report added. It asked for more time to continue investigating other elements of the conversation.
If Brazil’s prosecutor general decides to indict Mr. Temer, a two-thirds majority in the lower house of Congress needs to approve the indictment. If the Supreme Court confirms that decision, he will be suspended for up to 180 days.
Rafael Cortez, a political analyst and partner at Tendências, a consultancy in São Paulo, said Mr. Temer probably has just enough support in Congress to block the indictment, but that may not last long. “The signs of the government’s low political capital are becoming visible,” he said.
Mr. Temer, who traveled to Russia on Tuesday, has repeatedly and vociferously denied all allegations against him. His lawyer, Antônio Mariz, dismissed the report. “The Federal Police report has no technical nor juridical value as an element of accusation,” Mr. Mariz said in a statement.
Last week, after Mr. Batista accused the president in a magazine interview of being the “boss of a criminal…