Lawmaker ejected for corruption weeks after engineering former leader's ouster
Move comes after he had been suspended by Supreme Court
The politician who led the charge to impeach Brazil’s former President Dilma Rousseff has himself been ousted from power.
Eduardo Cunha, the former speaker of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, was removed from office Monday night by a landslide vote in the chamber of 450 votes to 10 with nine abstentions.
Lawmakers decided overwhelmingly that Cunha had lied during the investigation into corruption at Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petrobras, and had hid millions of dollars in offshore accounts. On top of losing his seat as speaker, Cunha also loses all political privileges for eight years.
Cunha had resigned as speaker of the Chamber of Deputies in July, and was already suspended as speaker in May by the Supreme Court, at the request of the attorney general, who accused him of obstructing justice and hiding millions of dollars in bribes in Swiss bank accounts.
The corruption investigation has already brought down some of the country’s top political and business leaders.
By being voted out, Cunha loses partial immunity from prosecution offered to members of Congress and high-ranking politicians.
The Senate and the Chamber of Deputies make up the country’s Congress.
Tearful (and long) goodbye
When announcing his resignation earlier in the summer, Cunha, who has been widely compared to the character Frank Underwood in the TV series “House of Cards,” had said: “I will continue to defend my innocence and that I told the truth.”
In July, the congressional ethics committee voted to strip him of his congressional seat. Although resigning as speaker, he still hung on to the seat until Monday’s denouement.
Cunha had launched his bid to impeach Rousseff, the country’s first female leader, in December 2015, accusing the then-leader of hiding a budgetary deficit to win re-election in 2014.
Her opponents also blamed her for the worst recession in decades. At the end of August, Brazil’s Senate voted 61-20 in favor of removing her from office.
CNN’s Shasta Darlington contributed to this report.