It is the second set of criminal charges filed against President Michel Temer, based on the plea-bargain testimony of the owners of the world’s largest meatpacker, JBS SA.
The new investigation is based on a wiretapped conversation of a former Temer aide who discussed shaping the decree in return for bribes channelled from a port operator to the president.
The arrests were ordered by Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin, who agreed to a request by Brazilian Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot.
A corruption scandal involving cartels of companies bribing officials for public contracts has enveloped most of Brazil’s political elite .
Small parties facing extinction opposed the vote threshold, which they said would favour larger established parties and hinder renewal of Brazil’s scandal-plagued political class.
More than 100 powerful business and political figures have been found guilty since the anti-graft push began in early 2014.
Brazilian federal judge Sergio Moro said there is still lack of interest from the country’s political establishment to fight corruption, despite the political and economic crisis the practice sent the country into.
Temer’s coalition allies are divided on whether it is best to dump the damaged president quickly or to keep him for the sake of an economic recovery.
Executives from meat packer JBS said in plea-bargain testimony to police that they paid the president nearly $5 million in bribes in recent years.
He said he would not step down even if he was formally indicted in the corruption scandal by the Supreme Court, because to do so would be to admit to guilt.
Temer refused to resign till the incriminating recording was verified, despite a probe authorised by the Supreme Court into allegations that he took bribes.