Much of the attention thus far has focused on Anderson Torres, Bolsonaro’s former justice minister, who became the federal district’s security chief on January 2, and was in the US on the day of the riot.
Moraes ordered Torres’ arrest on the day of the riot and has opened an investigation into his actions, which he characterised as “neglect and collusion”. In his decision, which was made public on Friday, Moraes said that Torres fired subordinates and left the country before the riot, an indication that he was deliberately laying the groundwork for the unrest.
The court also issued an arrest warrant for the former security chief, and he must return within three days or Brazil will request his extradition, Justice Minister Flávio Dino said.
“If by next week his appearance hasn’t been confirmed, of course we will use mechanisms of international legal cooperation. We will trigger procedures next week to carry out his extradition,” Dino said.
Torres has denied wrongdoing, and said on Twitter on January 10 that he would interrupt his vacation to return to Brazil and present his defence. Three days later, that had yet to occur.
The minister pointed to a document that Brazilian federal police found upon searching Torres’ home; a draft decree that would have seized control of Brazil’s electoral authority and potentially overturned the election. The origin and authenticity of the unsigned document are unclear, and it remains unknown if Bolsonaro or his subordinates took any steps to implement the measure that would have been unconstitutional, according to analysts and the Brazilian academy of electoral and political law.
But the document “will figure in the police investigation, because it even more fully reveals the existence of a chain of people responsible for the criminal events,” Dino said, adding that Torres would need to inform police who drafted it.
By failing to initiate a probe against the document’s author or report its existence, Torres could be charged with dereliction of duty, said Mario Sérgio Lima, a political analyst at Medley Advisors.
Torres said on Twitter that the document was probably found in a pile along with others intended for shredding, and that it was leaked out of context to feed false narratives aimed at discrediting him.
Dino told reporters that no connection had yet been established between the capital riot and Bolsonaro.
The federal district’s former governor and former military police chief are also targets of the Supreme Court investigation. Both were removed from their positions after the riot.
Also on Friday night, Brasilia time, the popular social media accounts of several prominent right-wing figures were suspended in Brazil in response to a court order, which journalist Glenn Greenwald obtained and detailed on a live social media broadcast.
The order, also issued by Moraes, was directed at six social media platforms and established a two-hour deadline to block the accounts or face fines. The accounts belong to a digital influencer, a YouTuber recently elected federal MP, a podcast host in the mould of Joe Rogan, and an evangelical pastor and senator-elect, among others.