Bolsonaro has Biden Over Barrel as calls for his expulsion from the US mount

President Joe Biden is facing mounting pressure to extradite Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former president of Brazil with ties to Donald Trump, whose supporters have attacked the country’s capital in an attack linked to the January 6, 2021 uprising in Washington, DC remind

Bolsonaro flew to Florida two days before his term ended on Jan. 1, after spending months contesting his defeat in Brazil’s presidential election last October. His supporters stormed the Supreme Court, Congress and the presidential palace in the capital Brasilia on Sunday, leading to the arrest of more than 1,200 protesters, according to Brazilian law enforcement officials.

The crisis in Brazil has unleashed an unexpected political firestorm for Biden, embroiling him in a debate over whether the United States should harbor a former head of state, which Trump echoed by blaming his defeat on a “rigged election.”

Biden called the attack on Brazil’s capital on Sunday “outrageous”. He followed this up with a joint statement Monday with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, condemning the attack “on Brazil’s democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power.”

But the president, who is in Mexico this week to attend the summit of North American leaders, did not directly blame Bolsonaro for the unrest or say whether he was considering removing him from the country. A growing choir of US lawmakers, frustrated by the administration’s decision to allow Bolsonaro into the country, found his early response to the issue too weak.

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro was among the first Democrats to call for Bolsonaro’s removal from the country.

In an interview on Monday with news week, Castro accused Brazil’s former leader of following Trump’s playbook, using false claims of a “rigged election” to incite his supporters and cast doubt on the outcome of a presidential election. Bolsonaro lost the runoff to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who previously served as Brazil’s president from 2003 to 2011.

Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro arrives for a news conference two days after his loss to Lula da Silva in the presidential runoff election at the Alvorada Palace November 1, 2022 in Brasilia, Brazil.
Addressa Anholete/Getty Images

Castro tells news week that there are “very clear connections” not only between Trump and Bolsonaro, but also between Steve Bannon, one of Trump’s former campaign managers and top aide, and Bolsonaro.

The congressman noted that Bannon recorded video messages on behalf of Bolsonaro while often invoking the prospect of a “Brazilian spring” on his podcast. Trump also cut a video giving his “strong” endorsement to the former leader.

“[It’s] no accident he ended up in Florida,” Castro said of Bolsonaro.

The former Brazilian leader is reportedly staying in the Orlando area, a two-and-a-half hour drive from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Castro isn’t the only Democrat in the House of Representatives pursuing Bolsonaro. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted that the US must show solidarity with Lula and “stop giving Bolsonaro sanctuary in Florida.”

Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego tweeted that “any Brazilian official using Florida or any US state as a base for a coup d’état should be expelled and turned over to Brazilian authorities.”

However, it remains unclear what procedure the government would use to remove the former Brazilian president from the country.

Reuters reported Monday that Bolsonaro, who faced corruption charges before his resignation, likely entered the US on a special visa reserved for former heads of state. It is possible that the visa will be revoked if Bolsonaro is charged with a crime in Brazil and the government demands his extradition.

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters Monday that the government has not yet received official inquiries from the Brazilian government regarding Bolsonaro. Sullivan said if a request was sent, the State Department would “take care of it,” but gave no further details.

“I have to exercise extreme caution in how I speak about this [Bolsonaro’s case] because of the legal issues and the precedents surrounding them,” Sullivan said.

The State Department declined a request for comment on Bolsonaro’s visa status.

said Congressman Castro news week He planned to address both the government and Brazilian authorities on Monday, a move that could put more pressure on Biden to act. He acknowledged that Brazil has not charged its former leader but said he still believes expulsion is the right move for the United States.

“I think there is a good chance that the Brazilians will press charges against him,” Castro said. “The US should not be his haven.” Bolsonaro has Biden Over Barrel as calls for his expulsion from the US mount

Rick Schindler

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