As most readers of The Intercept know, on June 9, we began publishing a series of exposés about corruption at the highest levels of the Bolsonaro government in Brazil. In reporting on the fallout from our reporting — including the attempts by the government to initiate a retaliatory investigation of me — The Guardian explained that our reports “have had an explosive impact on Brazilian politics and dominated headlines,” adding that the revelations “appeared to show prosecutors in the sweeping Operation Car Wash corruption inquiry colluding with Sérgio Moro, the judge who became a hero in Brazil for jailing powerful businessmen, middlemen and politicians.”
Last month, The Intercept’s editor-in-chief, Betsy Reed, traveled to Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil to work with our newsroom on our next set of stories, speak to the Brazilian press about the rationale behind our reporting, and meet with our lawyers and advisers about the still-escalating Bolsonaro-era risks and threats provoked by these revelations.
I sat down with Reed during her trip to speak about the importance of this journalism, the massive changes it has produced in Brazilian politics, and how these exposés are a fulfillment of The Intercept’s core editorial mission. Since her trip — as is often the case for Brazil — many new critical developments have taken place in a short time, including the freeing of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the physical assault on me by a pro-Bolsonaro loyalist-pundit while we were on live TV.
In a Washington Post op-ed published yesterday by Lula, the newly freed former president wrote about the improprieties and corruption on the part of Moro, Bolsonaro’s current justice minister, that were responsible for his imprisonment and that of numerous other politicians; Lula also explained how our months of reporting is what enabled the truth to finally be known:
It was only in June, with the publication of an investigation that showed collusion between the prosecution and judges by the Intercept Brazil, that the truth finally began to emerge. These revelations have rocked Brazilians and the world because they showed that a once acclaimed anti-corruption effort had been politicized, tainted and illegal.
To discuss those subsequent developments and set the context for my discussion with Reed, Jeremy Scahill recorded a five-minute introduction. The video of both Scahill’s overview, and mine and Reed’s discussion, can be seen below: