(Bloomberg) -- The eldest son of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday that his father doesn’t have a deadline to return to Brazil and dismissed the idea of extradition by the US.
Bolsonaro traveled to the US late last month, two days before the end of his term, skipping the inauguration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Congressional Democrats have pushed President Joe Biden to kick Bolsonaro out of the US after his supporters vandalized government buildings in Brasilia on Jan. 8, protesting Lula’s victory and trying to unseat him.
“The far left in the US plays the role of the far left here. They push for a political issue,” Senator Flávio Bolsonaro told reporters in Brasilia. “I believe that the US is a serious country that won’t do anything illegal.”
Flávio Bolsanaro said that his father entered the US with a diplomatic visa and that, if he hasn’t already converted to a tourist visa, he will do so.
The State Department says an individual has 30 days to depart the US or change visa status after leaving government service.
Read More: Brazil’s Defense Chief Seeks Justice, Pacification After Riots
Biden could have the authority to declare Bolsonaro persona non grata and order him out of the country. But that measure is generally used for a foreign diplomat, not a former head of state, and it’s not clear if it applies in this case.
At home, Bolsonaro will face the scrutiny of Brazilian authorities who have authorized a probe into his alleged role in the Jan. 8 riots. If Bolsonaro believed he faced the risk of jail by returning home, he could seek asylum or challenge a move to extradite him in US courts.
Bolsonaro’s son said that his father is “very calm” and follows what is happening in his homeland “with a clear conscience that he gave his best for Brazil.”
“He’s resting. Did you guys ever take a vacation?” the senator said to reporters. “It could be tomorrow, it could be six months from now, he could never come back. I don’t know.”
Former First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro returned to Brazil on a flight that landed in the nation’s capital Thursday night, local media reported.
Flávio Bolsonaro also said that his father’s health is fine, but that he might have to undergo surgery. The procedure would be the latest in a series of intestinal surgeries the conservative leader has required since being stabbed in the abdomen during a campaign rally in 2018.
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