The American journalist last year began publishing a series of stories at The Interceptthat, as Columbia Journalism Review wrote, "sent shocks through Brazil" by appearing to show "that Sergio Moro, Brazil's justice minister and the former top judge in a major corruption investigation, colluded with federal prosecutors to convict prominent political figures." The Intercept said its reporting was based on "private chats, audio recordings, videos, photos, court proceedings, and other documentation" that was "provided to us by an anonymous source."
Brazilian prosecutors have now charged Greenwald "for his role in the spreading of cellphone messages that have embarrassed prosecutors," the Times reports. Prosecutors in a complaint claimed Greenwald is part of a "criminal organization" that hacked prosecutors' and other officials' cellphones.
The Intercept co-founder Jeremy Scahill on Twitter called these charges "despicable, dangerous and a crime against journalism," and others journalists quickly spoke out in Greenwald's defense.
"Regardless of your personal feelings about Glenn, this is a regime with deep authoritarian tendencies personally targeting a critical journalist," Vox's Dylan Matthews tweeted. "It's a horrendous abuse of power that everyone should denounce."
Greenwald in a statement to The Daily Beastsaid he "did nothing more than do my job as a journalist — ethically and within the law," calling the charges "an obvious attempt to attack a free press in retaliation for the revelations we reported about Minister Moro and the Bolsonaro government." He added, "We will not be intimidated by these tyrannical attempts to silence journalists. I am working right now on new reporting and will continue to do so." Brendan Morrow