Former Trump aide Jason Miller said he was questioned by police for three hours at an airport in Brazil on Tuesday afternoon.
Miller, who is currently the CEO of the pro-Trump social media outlet GETTR, said he and the other individuals he was traveling with were leaving Brazil after attending the country’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) when they were questioned for three hours at the airport.
He said the group was told that authorities “wanted to talk,” adding that they were “not accused of any wrongdoing.”
“We informed them that we had nothing to say and were eventually released to fly back to the United States. Our goal of sharing free speech around the world continues!” he said.
Miller was reportedly detained in connection to an investigation looking into “anti-democratic acts” after meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, according to Brazilian news outlet Metrópoles.
The order to question Miller reportedly came from Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, who in August launched a probe into unproven claims made by Bolsonaro that the country’s 2022 federal elections will be tainted by fraud, according to Forbes.
The detainment of Miller and his traveling party comes amid rising political tensions in Brazil as next year’s presidential election inches closer.
Bolsonaro convened large protests throughout Brazil on Tuesday, the country’s Independence Day, sparking concern among some critics that the actions could be an opening hymn to a future power grab, according to The New York Times.
Bolsonaro has in recent days characterized the current moment as a do-or-die juncture for his political movement, asking the minority of the electorate that backs him to be vocal in the streets.
“I have three alternatives in the future: being arrested, getting killed or victory,” Bolsano told supporters last week, according to the Times, referring to the upcoming presidential elections. “You can be sure the first option, imprisonment, will not happen,” he added.
Polls reportedly show that if the race were today, the incumbent would lose in a landslide.
A group of more than 150 heads of state, ministers and lawmakers from 26 countries released a statement on Monday expressing concern that the demonstration in Brazil could transform into an “insurrection” that could potentially threaten the democratic norms in the country.
They likened the potential for an insurrection to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.