As Prez Cries 'Coup,' 'Usurper,' Brazil Weighs Impeachment

Dilma Rousseff defends herself in 4th day of trial
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2016 1:04 PM CDT
As Prez Cries 'Coup,' 'Usurper,' Brazil Weighs Impeachment
Demonstrators in support of Brazil's suspended President Dilma Rousseff gather in front of the National Congress where her impeachment trial is taking place, in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Fighting to save her job, Rousseff told senators on Monday that the allegations against her have no...   (Leo Correa)

Fighting to save her job, suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told senators on Monday that the allegations against her have no merit and that history would judge the country if she is removed from office. "I know I will be judged, but my conscience is clear. I did not commit a crime," Rousseff told senators at her impeachment trial. Rousseff reminded senators that she was re-elected in 2014 by more than 54 million voters. She said that at every moment she has followed the constitution and done what was best for the country. "I can't help but taste the bitterness of injustice" of this process, she said. Brazil's first female president is accused of breaking fiscal rules to hide problems in the federal budget, reports the AP; she denies wrongdoing and says her enemies are carrying out a "coup d'état."

Rousseff argued that in early 2015 the opposition in Congress began creating instability by refusing to negotiate and throwing "fiscal bombs" in the face of declining revenues. Rousseff blasted interim President Michel Temer as a "usurper." Rousseff said Brazilians would never have voted for a man who picked a Cabinet of all white men in a country that is more than 50% non-white. Three of his ministers were also forced to step down within a month because of corruption allegations. Rousseff said that her impeachment process was launched by the former speaker of the lower house of Congress, who is facing numerous charges of corruption. Rousseff said it was "an irony of history" that she would be judged for crimes she did not commit by people who were accused of serious crimes. "I ask that you be just with an honest president," she said, her voice cracking with emotion. The trial has seen name-calling, shouting, and a declaration by the Senate president that "stupidity is limitless." (More Dilma Rousseff stories.)

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