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  • Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends a news conference with foreign media in Brasilia, Brazil, June 14, 2016.

    Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends a news conference with foreign media in Brasilia, Brazil, June 14, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

A report by the Office of the Public Prosecutor said Rousseff was not guilty of a crime, seriously undermines arguments made by politicians backing her ouster.

Leftist senators from Dilma Rousseff's Workers' Party are pushing to discontinue the impeachment process against the president after the Office of the Public Prosecutor found that she did not break the law in her handling of the public budget.

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The Office of the Public Prosecutor said Thursday that Rousseff had not committed a crime by manipulating the government's budget accounts and called for the criminal investigation to be shelved.

The report by Ivan Claudio Marx, who serves as prosecutor of the republic, said that the maneuvers practiced by Rousseff, wherein the presidency delayed payments to state banks, were a violation of the contract between the government and the banks but not a crime.

These maneuvers were widely employed by previous presidents, none of whom were subject to an impeachment process as a result.

The Brazilian Constitution states that the president may only be impeached if they have committed a “crime de responsabilidade” or a serious crime. Marx specified that the maneuvers practiced by Rousseff did not constitute a serious crime. 

Although the report is not legally binding on the impeachment process, Rousseff's budget maneuvers were widely cited as the reason why the president was being impeached by her political nemeses. 

The reports seriously undermines arguments made by politicians backing Rousseff's ouster. 

Senator Lindbergh Farias said the report meant that “the impeachment process is a farce.” 

Farias, along with Senator Gleisi Hoffmann said the Senate should listen to the prosecutor of the republic and are calling on the upper house to discontinue the impeachment process against Rousseff.

"That (budget maneuver) is what served as the basis for impeachment proceedings in the Senate and Office of the Public Prosecutor, which is the organ that has the capacity, legal expertise, and the right to say what is or what is not a crime, said it considered that there was no crime,” said Hoffman, as quoted by Forum magazine.

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The report by Marx is distinct from an earlier report prepared by analysts in the Senate that found there was no evidence to suggest she was personally responsible for fiscal wrongdoing. 

That report, prepared by three auditors, also found that Rousseff did not cook the books in the lead up to her 2014 presidential reelection.

According to Bloomberg, an aide to the coup-government of Michel Temer said Marx's report did not change the expectation that the Senate will vote to oust Rousseff permanently. 

Before the release of the report by the Office of the Public Prosecutor, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a close ally of Rousseff, expressed optimism that Rousseff would be returned to power. 

“Defeating the impeachment is now easier than before,” said Lula on Tuesday.

“(The fate of) Dilma depends on six votes, six senators who can change the destiny of the country, returning to Dilma the popular mandate that the people gave her,” Lula told Radio Jornal.

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