Lawyers representing Brazilian President Michel Temer delivered defense briefs to the Chamber of Deputies Judiciary Committee on Wednesday in an effort to head off a decision that could see the chief executive removed from office, either temporarily or permanently. The committee will decide, at some point in the next few weeks, whether to allow prosecution of the president under an indictment brought by Chief Federal Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot. Under Brazil’s Constitution, any such prosecution can only go forward with permission from the Chamber of Deputies. The Judiciary Committee will play a major role in allowing or blocking a vote on the issue in the full Chamber. In the event Temer is prosecuted, he would have to take a 180-day leave-of-absence. If convicted, he would be removed permanently from office. Any trial of the president would take place in the Brazilian Supreme Court. Janot accuses the president of malfeisance, bribery, money laundering and other crimes, mainly in connection with alleged campaign finance abuses. Briefs prepared for the president claim the accusations are based on hearsay and tainted evidence. They also argue that there is little or no documentary proof supporting the accusations.
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