A demonstrator shows a sign that reads "Temer, Federal trash" during a protest against President Michel Temer and the latest corruption scandal to hit the country in Brasilia, Brazil May 24, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
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The cast of ruthless men in Brazil's corruption crisis inevitably prompts comparisons to the Netflix series "House of Cards".There's no question that the scandal enveloping President Michel Temer is as dark as the American hit TV series, which features a scheming couple's inexorable rise to the White House.For all of Temer's allegedly rampant criminality – taking huge bribes and conspiring to prevent a politician jailed for corruption from talking to prosecutors – the scandal is riddled with signs of amateurism.The plot starts with a fateful, suitably noirish meeting at 11 p.m. on March 7, when the boss of the world's biggest meat company, Joesley Batista, secretly recorded Temer allegedly giving the OK for hush money payments.Given a chance to explain why he'd met at nearly midnight with a man already under another corruption investigation, Temer put his foot in it.An expert commissioned by Temer's lawyers says the tape has been edited and therefore "inadmissible as evidence".Temer, for his part, says Loures fell victim to manipulation because he's "good-natured".
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