Senate inquiry votes on summoning governors and recalling Pazuello

senate covid hearings
Senators confer during Covid hearings session. Photo: Marcos Oliveira/SF/ACS/CC BY 4.0

In a day without depositions, members of the Senate’s Covid hearings committee voted on requests to resummon former Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello and incumbent Marcelo Queiroga. The inquiry was left infuriated by lies told by Mr. Pazuello, while the current health minister was adjudged to have avoided a number of questions.

Nine state governors are also set to give depositions to the hearings committee. They hail from states in which the Federal Police has launched operations to investigate the embezzlement of federal funds earmarked for the coronavirus fight.

Deputy chair Randolfe Rodrigues submitted a request to summon President Jair Bolsonaro, but legal experts claim the inquiry does not have the right to do so. Brazilian law states that the head of state must “give satisfaction” to Congress, but a hearings committee is not able to represent the entire legislature.

However, the Covid inquiry could invite Mr. Bolsonaro to speak, as opposed to an official summons.