Brasilia, September 1 (RHC)-- More than half of the Senate voting to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday are themselves facing legal proceedings on charges of corruption. According to news reports and official sources, 49 of Brazil's 81 senators face crimes ranging from money laundering to illicit enrichment and electoral fraud.
By a margin of 61 to 20, the Senate voted Wednesday to remove the twice-elected Rousseff from office for allegedly doctoring the federal budget to influence voters in her successful 2014 election campaign. The contentious impeachment hearings had to be postponed following several altercations between senators, who each have accused each other of corruption and even drug use.
Rousseff is not accused of corruption or embezzlement. Instead, she was forced to step down over allegations that she cooked the federal budget books in the runup to her 2014 reelection to hide a government shortfall and woo voters. However, a June Senate report proved the allegations were false.
Testifying in her own defense before the Senate on Monday, Rousseff recalled how she had endured torture as a dissident fighting the military dictatorship to articulate her belief in democracy. She had committed no impeachable offenses, she said, and urged the Senate to uphold their constitutional duty and vote against her impeachment.