Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar on Wednesday led a coalition of more than 70 lawmakers from the United States and Brazil in denouncing right-wing extremists—led by defeated ex-Presidents Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro—for spurring violent insurrections aimed at overturning legitimate election results and toppling democracy in the two countries.
"As lawmakers in Brazil and the United States, we stand united against the efforts by authoritarian, anti-democratic far-right actors to overturn legitimate election results and overthrow our democracies, including the recent January 8, 2023 attacks on the Brazilian presidential palace, Congress, and Supreme Court as well as the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol," the legislators said in a joint statement.
"It is no secret that ultra-right agitators in Brazil and the United States are coordinating efforts," the lawmakers continued. "In the wake of the October 30th Brazilian elections, Brazilian Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro met directly with former President Trump, along with former Trump aides Jason Miller and Steve Bannon, who encouraged Bolsonaro to contest the election results in Brazil. Bannon was recently convicted of two criminal charges for failing to comply with a subpoena for his role in the January 6th insurrection. Soon after the meetings, Bolsonaro's party sought to invalidate thousands of votes. All involved must be held accountable."
The statement was signed by prominent progressive members of Congress in the U.S. including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), as well as Brazilian lawmakers Rodrigo Agostinho, Chico Alencar, Tabata Amaral, Sâmia Bomfim, Guilherme Boulos, and Camilo Capiberibe.
"Democracies rely on the peaceful transfer of power," the lawmakers said. "Just as far-right extremists are coordinating their efforts to undermine democracy, we must stand united in our efforts to protect it. In order to save democracy in our two countries and around the world, we urge all elected officials in our two countries, regardless of party, to join our calls."
The statement came as authorities in both countries continued to investigate the anti-democratic assaults, both sparked by Trump and Bolsonaro's incessant lies about election fraud.
Reutersreported Thursday that U.S. and Brazilian lawmakers are "looking for ways to cooperate on an investigation" into the violence in Brazil on Sunday, "sharing lessons from inquiries into the attack on the U.S. Capitol."
"U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the recently dissolved House committee that investigated the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, is one lawmaker whose office is discussing collaboration," Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the ongoing discussions. "Brazil's Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco has also discussed the idea of such an exchange with the top U.S. diplomat in Brasília."
More than two years after the January 6 insurrection, Trump has yet to face criminal charges over his role in the attempted coup as a U.S. Justice Department investigation continues.
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, is still in Florida, where he traveled days before the inauguration of leftist Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Like Trump, Bolsonaro refused to concede defeat and attempted—unsuccessfully—to challenge his election loss in court.
Facing mounting extradition demands by U.S. lawmakers, Bolsonaro toldCNN Brasil on Wednesday that he intends to return to his home country soon as Brazilian authorities moved to freeze his assets and issued arrest warrants for pro-Bolsonaro officials accused of aiding Sunday's attacks on government buildings.
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams and was authored by Jake Johnson.