Bolsonaro asks court to disregard controversial draft decree

Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has asked investigators probing his election campaign to disregard a document found at the home of his justice minister that called for a review of the results of the vote.

The Supreme Court is investigating Bolsonaro over suspected abuse of power during his failed re-election campaign.

The draft document found at the home of Anderson Torres -- who is currently in detention and being investigated over the January 8 storming of Brasilia's seats of power by Bolsonaro supporters -- proposed taking federal control of the supreme court, which is responsible for elections.

But Bolsonaro's lawyers argued in a message sent to the court on Thursday that the decree "was never published, nor would have been."

The document, they argued, was "apocryphal, it never left the residence of third parties, it was never published, nor publicized ... it never went beyond the level of reflection."

The Supreme Court has given Bolsonaro three days to explain the content of the document found last week in Torres's home.

Bolsonaro, who spent years casting doubt on the Brazilian electronic voting system, has still not officially recognized his defeat to veteran leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who assumed office on Jan. 1.

The decree stated that it would "immediately reestablish the transparency and validity of the 2022 presidential election process."

Justice Minister Flavio Dino said the draft decree was "a link in the putschist chain" that "shows the true purpose" of the January 8 riot in Brasilia.

Bolsonaro, who was in the United States at the time of the riots, is also under investigation for the storming of the presidential palace, Congress and supreme court by his supporters.

pr/dga/bc/md