Law professor Janaína Paschoal was near unknown to Brazilians until late in 2015, when she co-authored—alongside Brazil’s former Justice Minister—the impeachment request that led to Dilma Rousseff’s removal from office the following year. Gaining notoriety thanks to one particularly inflamed speech at a rally in São Paulo, Ms. Paschoal would become an unlikely protagonist of the biggest political crisis in Brazil’s recent history.
Janaína Paschoal provided all the legal justification for Ms. Rousseff’s removal. Formally, the ex-president was ousted for having pulled fraudulent budget maneuvers during her first term. And while the Constitution states that articles of impeachment can only encompass the current term of a given elected official, Ms. Paschoal argued that when Ms. Rousseff was re-elected in 2014, her second term could be considered an extension of her first four years in office.