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Brazil's President Michel Temer gestures during a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado(reuters_tickers)
BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian congressional committee on Thursday voted against sending a corruption charge against President Michel Temer to the Supreme Court for the leader to be put on trial.
The vote is non-binding and the full house must still vote on the charge, which would only be approved if two-thirds of legislators vote for it.
Temer was charged last month in connection with a graft scheme involving the world's largest meatpacker, JBS SA. General Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot accused Temer of arranging to receive a total of 38 million reais (9.16 million pounds) in bribes from JBS in the next nine months.
The full house may vote on Friday, though it looks increasingly likely that lawmakers may wait until early August, after a two-week recess. Though Temer's support has waned, he is widely expected to survive the full house vote.
Janot has said he expects to level at least two new graft charges against Temer in the coming weeks, however.
Several lawmakers have told Reuters in recent weeks that if they were forced into multiple votes to protect the deeply unpopular president from a trial, the chances of one of the charges being accepted by the lower house would greatly increase.
Temer, who replaced impeached President Dilma Rousseff last year, would be removed from office for at least 180 days if he were forced to stand trial in the Supreme Court.
(Reporting by Brad Brooks; Editing by Tom Brown)