"I trust Brazilian institutions to apply and protect (journalistic) rights,” U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald said.
Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro is a threat to press freedom, Intercept journalist Glenn Greenwald said Thursday before the nation's Senate Justice Commission.
"The climate that the minister is trying to create is a threat to the free press," Greenwald told Brazilian Congress members, noting that prior to The Intercept Brasil releasing damning text messages between Moro and state prosecutors, he attempted to shush the media and get the documents himself.
In June, Greenwald led the publication of a three-part expose in The Intercept Brasil, which revealed massive wrongdoings by current Minister of Justice Sergio Moro during the trial he previously presided over that charged former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of taking bribes in the far-reach Odebrecht construction case. Moro eventually sentenced Lula to 12 years in jail, which has since been reduced.
The U.S. journalist assured the investigations were thoroughly fact checked and "Moro was not only collaborating with the prosecutors," but headed what the famed reporter called the "Lava Jato working group."
"The more they threaten, the more people will understand the importance of journalism. ... The whole democratic world understands that the journalist's role is to report any information of public interest. Moro is not above the law.
"We are much closer to the beginning than to the end. ... This week we published the first audio. The most important word is: first," the Pulitzer Prize winner said to Senate members.
“This collection has the capacity to show us the truth. This is scaring them. ... They are desperate and they must be. At the end of this process, everyone will know their faces.
"I trust Brazilian institutions to apply and protect those (journalistic) rights,” Greenwald said.
Last week, Brazilian Federal Police demanded an investigation into the journalist’s personal finances under alleged acts of money laundering, although the finance ministry has denied any involvement in the case.
This was the second time since late June that Greenwald has testified in front of the committee about the published leaks.
The journalist said that he received the information from a source that does not want to be revealed and stressed that Brazil's constitution and its Code of Ethics both guarantee him and his sources confidentiality.
"I have read the Brazilian Constitution that protects and guarantees exactly what we are doing and I trust Brazilian institutions to apply and protect these rights. The climate the minister is trying to create is a threat to the free press," he said.
Legislators from President Jair Bolsonaro's Social Liberal political party as well as Minister Moro have threatened the famed reporter.
"When Moro threatens me, when he abuses the power of the Federal Police, when he investigates me, I am happy," he said. "It shows they have the fear they deserve to have. They know what they did. They know we have evidence of what they did. They know we are going to show and we will publish all this until the end,” declared the journalist to Senate members.