'Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva should be released from prison and his conviction should be annulled, said Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, on Tuesday. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., meanwhile, is calling on the Trump administration to investigate the case that imprisoned the former president on corruption charges, following The Intercept’s exposé that showed Judge Sérgio Moro plotted with prosecutors to convict Lula and prevent the Workers’ Party from returning to power.
“This reporting confirms what we knew all along — that Moro was a bad actor and part of a larger conspiracy to send Lula to jail,” Khanna told The Intercept in an emailed statement. “While [it’s] not for America to make a factual judgement on Lula’s innocence, this reporting shows Moro was not impartial and coordinated with the prosecutors. This violates all judicial norms and ethics. I hope the Trump administration supports a full investigation into this matter given Lula is still in jail and Moro is Bolsonaro’s justice minister.”
Sanders said that the exposures should free Lula. “Today, it is clearer than ever that Lula da Silva was imprisoned in a politicized prosecution that denied him a fair trial and due process. During his presidency, Lula oversaw huge reductions in poverty and remains Brazil’s most popular politician. I stand with political and social leaders across the globe who are calling on Brazil’s judiciary to release Lula and annul his conviction,” Sanders said in a statement provided to The Intercept.
President Donald Trump has embraced Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s right-wing president who, like Trump, has a history of making bigoted, homophobic, and misogynistic statements and even paid a visit to the White House in March.
“They say he’s the Donald Trump of South America,” Trump said during a speech this past January. “Do you believe that? And he’s happy with that. If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t like the country so much. But I like him.”
On Sunday, The Intercept and The Intercept Brasil published excerpts from a massive trove of secret documents, including private admissions of doubt from prosecutors about whether there was sufficient evidence to prove Lula’s guilt. The sweeping corruption probe, known as Operation Car Wash, stretches back five years and has resulted in hundreds of people being charged with hundreds of crimes.'
Read more: Bernie Sanders Calls for Brazil's Judiciary to Release Lula in Wake of Corruption Exposure
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