“An extraordinary day in Brazil—for the world, given Lula’s stature.”
This is a developing story… check back for updates.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, was freed from prison Friday after a year-and-a-half behind bars due to a politically motivated prosecution from the country’s right-wing government.
A large crowd, most decked in Workers’ Party red, gathered to welcome Lula back to freedom.
“You don’t know how much you represent me,” the former Brazilian president told the throng of supporters.
@LulaOficial: thanks all of his supporters for coming every day to wish him good mornings and cheer him up with massive demonstrations. He also thanks all the political organizations that worked in the campaign for his liberation. “You don’t know how much you represent for me” pic.twitter.com/jNNvERo4aR
— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) November 8, 2019
“An extraordinary day in Brazil,” The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald tweeted, “for the world, given Lula’s stature.”
A Brazilian judge just ordered former President Lula da Silva released from Sergio Moro’s prison.
An extraordinary day in Brazil – for the world, given Lula’s stature.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 8, 2019
“It’s an emotional day,” Greenwald added.
“Wow!” Greenwald’s Intercept colleague, writer Naomi Klein, replied. “This is big.”
For his part, Lula tweeted a video of himself working out, saying “Lula Livre.”
Lula Livre pic.twitter.com/EJRrynjJjE
— Lula (@LulaOficial) November 8, 2019
Lula was imprisoned in April 2018 after a series of events that The Associated Press described as part of a plot by Brazil’s right-wing to seize power:
Da Silva’s hand-picked successor, Dilma Rousseff, was impeached and removed from office in 2016. Then Da Silva was jailed in April 2018 after a group of judges upheld his conviction for corruption and money laundering. That left his leftist Workers’ Party rudderless, and it was further demoralized when routed in the 2018 general elections.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, called for Lula’s release from prison in June and remains the only 2020 presidential candidate to do so.
“Lula da Silva was imprisoned in a politicized prosecution that denied him a fair trial and due process,” Sanders said in a statement to The Intercept on June 11. “During his presidency, Lula oversaw huge reductions in poverty and remains Brazil’s most popular politician. I stand with political and social leaders across the globe who are calling on Brazil’s judiciary to release Lula and annul his conviction.”
By Friday afternoon, a large crowd had gathered to await Lula’s release.
Follow the livestream from the Workers’ Party:
— PT Brasil (@ptbrasil) November 8, 2019
‘Betrayal’: Trump fuming over Brett Kavanaugh voting with majority in tax return cases
According to Jonathan Lemire of the Associated Press, Donald Trump is reportedly focusing his ire on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, along with Neil Gorsuch, for siding with the majority of justices who ruled on Thursday that the state of New York must be given his tax returns as part of a criminal investigation.
Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" with co-host Willie Geist, Lemire was asked how the president -- and the White House -- are reacting to the setback for the president.
"You're at the White House, it's either a witch hunt or a big win depending on who you ask," host Geist began. "[Trump attorney] Jay Sekulow is also calling it a win. The president doesn't want his tax returns, financial records to see the light of day particularly before election day. What's the concern now with the two 7-2 decisions?"
Trump’s new excuse on not releasing his taxes is ‘completely meaningless’ and may not even be in English: CNN’s Toobin
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin on Friday found himself flabbergasted by President Donald Trump's new excuse for not releasing his tax returns, and he questioned whether the president was even speaking English when he made it.
During a CNN panel discussion, Toobin was shown a clip of Trump talking about releasing his tax returns during an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
"I'm under tax audit, I have been for a long period of time," the president told Hannity. "Once I ran for politics that deal was like we didn't make it. So I'm under a continuing audit, and anyone that did that or showed that before you have it finalized, but they treat, they treat me horribly, the IRS. It is a disgrace what has happened. We had a deal done, I guess it was signed even. Once I ran or once I won, somewhere back a long time ago everything was like let's start all over again."