Last June Glenn Greenwald and The Intercept published and reported on a massive trove of explosive leaks that revealed that top prosecutors and the judge who eventually became the justice minister of Brazil conspired to rig the corruption trial of the beloved and incredibly popular leader Lula, sending him to prison as part of their plan to put the murderous, homophobic authoritarian Jair Bolsonaro in his place.
Though the Brazilian courts swiftly ruled that Greenwald had committed no crime and barred the Bolsonaro government from using criminal investigations to harass Greenwald to retaliate for his reporting, this week Brazilian prosecutors filed cybercrime charges against Greenwald.
The charge alleges that Greenwald was complicit in obtaining the leaks. The Intercept called the move "a blatantly politically motivated charge against Greenwald, in apparent retaliation for The Intercept’s critical reporting."
Yesterday, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate condemned the charge, while a few of their Republican colleagues weakly commented that it was disturbing and warranted a followup.
Greenwald denied the charges in his statement, citing a previous Brazilian Federal Police investigation that concluded he had committed no crimes and noted his “careful and distant posture regarding the execution” of the alleged hacks.
“Less than two months ago, the Federal Police, examining all the same evidence cited by the Public Ministry, stated explicitly that not only have I never committed any crime but that I exercised extreme caution as a journalist never even to get close to any participation,” Greenwald said in the statement, which can be read below in full. “Even the Federal Police under Minister Moro’s command said what is clear to any rational person: I did nothing more than do my job as a journalist — ethically and within the law.”
“This accusation — brought by the same prosecutor who just tried and failed to criminally prosecute the head of the Brazilian Bar Association for criticizing Minister Moro — is an obvious attempt to attack a free press in retaliation for the revelations we reported about Minister Moro and the Bolsonaro government,” said Greenwald, who also co-founded The Intercept Brasil. “We will not be intimidated by these tyrannical attempts to silence journalists. I am working right now on new reporting and will continue to do so.”
Lawmakers Speak Out in Support of Glenn Greenwald, Press Freedom [Aída Chávez/The Intercept]