The aggravated general in front of the TSE after Bolsonaro pardoned Daniel Silvera | Malo Gaspar

Federal Representative Daniel Silvera (PTB-RJ) presents the pardon signed by Bolsonaro in a frame next to the President and Deputy Colonel Tadeo (PL-SP) at a ceremony in Palacio de Planalto, last Wednesday (27)

General Heber Portela, a key figure in the crisis between Palazzo Planalto, the armed forces and the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), has ramped up pressure on the Electoral Transparency Commission after Jair Bolsonaro pardoned Representative Daniel Silvera (PTB-RJ).

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This is what the group meeting minutes obtained by the blog team show.

The documents reveal that Portela, who was silent, tightened the match with the court at the committee’s last meeting, which took place four days after the pardon.

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The Federal Supreme Court sentenced Silvera to eight years and nine months in prison for threatening and inciting violence against court ministers, which angered President Jair Bolsonaro and made him toughen attacks on the judiciary.

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The column obtained minutes from three committee meetings: the first was held on September 13 of last year, when the group’s work began; the second, from the February 14 meeting of this year, when Bolsonaro had already used the military’s questions about the ballot box to attack the electoral system; And the third from the last meeting on April 25.

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Two other meetings were held during this period for which no minutes were recorded. According to the column, the team of the then President of the Court, Luis Roberto Barroso, did not believe that it was necessary to produce documents, an atmosphere of calm prevailed at these first meetings.

In the first two, General Portela silently entered and silently left. There is no record of any speech by the general, chosen by former Defense Minister Braga Neto to compose the group.

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Even at the February meeting, when questions from the army were already sent to the TSE, he did not comment.

Things changed at last month’s meeting. The minutes of the meeting show that Portela has already taken the offensive.

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Portela spoke after the presentation by the Information Technology Secretary, Julio Valente.

The technician said that processing of ballot box data is done by a single system across the country, that audit possibilities are “many and integrated” and that total votes can be duplicated “by any entity that wishes to do so”. “.

But Portella was not satisfied. In evidence of unprecedented supporter activity, he requested that “the computation made of the reliability index in the augmentation of ballot boxes audited in integrity tests”.

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Echoing an idea put forward at Palácio do Planalto by President Jair Bolsonaro himself, he also consulted “on the possibility of a specific audit, if there is a different result in the integrity tests”.

It also asked the TSE to inform “what is the best way to conduct existing audits, given the process as a whole”.

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In response, Fachin said global election audits are being carried out by the Federal Court of Auditors (TCU).

He also asked the general if he could talk to the armed forces about their content, even though the group’s work is confidential. Fashin answered yes.

There are no such accusations by the general in the minutes of the first hearings.

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The committee also held two more meetings last year, on October 4 and November 22, but there are no minutes for those meetings. In December, Portela sent a letter to the court requesting access to a total of 27 documents, including risk and audit reports, information security and vulnerability management policies.

It also began a series of questions about the preparation of the elections and the examination of ballot boxes and security mechanisms to detect a possible “break-in” to the systems, the content of which was revealed by Veja magazine.

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Portela’s letters provided ammunition to the President of the Republic, who began using these cases to bolster attacks against electoral justice.

In February, two days before a commission meeting at which the general did not speak, Bolsonaro declared on a radio program that “the armed forces have identified a few dozen doubts, so to speak, about the system.”

The president also concluded, “They administer the TSE, the deadline was 30 days, the TSE did not respond and it was confirmed. The deadline expired before yesterday, and they did not respond either.”

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In April, two days after a meeting in which the general questioned the tests and possibilities of scrutinizing opinion polls, Bolsonaro received a group of parliamentarians at the Planalto Palace and said the election results had been decided in a “secret room” – which never happened.

“One suggestion is that, the same channel that feeds the computers in the secret room, we should make a branch a little bit to the right so that we have a computer besides the armed forces also to count the votes in Brazil,” the CEO said.

Since then, the Minister of Defense, Paulo Sergio Nogueira Oliveira, has sidelined General Portela and taken over the dialogue with the commission.

But Bolsonaro has not stopped making daily attacks on the court.

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The committee was established in September 2021 by Barroso, with the aim of increasing security and transparency throughout the voting process.

The group, which was expanded during the Fachin administration, currently includes members from the Federal Police, the Public Prosecution Office, Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), universities (USP, Unicamp and UFPE, Federal in Pernambuco) and Congress, as well as civil society entities.

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Faced with the tense situation with the Planalto Palace, Barroso decided to call in the army to form the commission – in what is now seen as a “bullet in the foot”, with the group becoming an instrument of the armed forces against the very court.

However, Vashin decided to keep the group operating until the end of his term, in mid-August, so as not to add fuel to the fire.

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The Colonna team sought the advice of the military on Tuesday evening, the 16th, with a series of questions about Portela’s role on the commission — and they have yet to receive an answer.

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