Since June 9, The Intercept Brasil has been publishing a series of leaked private messages between former Judge (and current Justice Minister) Sergio Moro and Operation Car Wash prosecutors. By the reports, it seems that Mr. Moro overstepped his responsibilities as a judge and collaborated with the prosecution—which is illegal—at least in the case against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Since its launch in 2014, Operation Car Wash has drawn massive popular support—and equally passionate critics. And The Intercept‘s reports, which were given the moniker Car Wash Leaks, have inspired intense reactions—either by those critical of the investigation, or those who adamantly defended Mr. Moro, the prosecutors, and their methods.
Matthew C. Stephenson is a Harvard law professor, and editor of the Global Anticorruption Blog. While never extreme, he swung from criticism to Mr. Moro to a more skeptical look at the leaks. His first commentary was used by anti-Car Wash observers, while his second one, recanting many positions, was quoted several times by Mr. Moro himself during a congressional hearing as validation for his actions.
Dr. Stephenson talked over the phone with The Brazilian Report about how the leaks can impact former President Lula’s conviction, the future of Brazil’s democratic institutions, and the country’s quest against corruption.