The tangled web Andrew Gillum has woven
Excerpt: Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum accepted a ticket to the musical “Hamilton” that came from an undercover FBI agent, according to text messages made public Tuesday.
The records turned over to the Florida Commission on Ethics raise new questions about the FBI cloud that has dogged Gillum’s campaign and appear to contradict some of his previous statements. His opponent Ron DeSantis used that probe into possible Tallahassee government corruption as a source of attack during Sunday night’s debate on CNN.
Gillum, mayor of Tallahassee, traveled to New York City in August 2016 and went on outings with his brother and lobbyist Adam Corey that were arranged by undercover FBI agents, the records show. One of those agents, known as Mike Miller, was posing as an out-of-town developer looking to do business in Tallahassee.
The documents include a copy of a text message sent from Corey to Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016. Corey’s lawyer turned over the documents in response to a subpoena from the state’s Ethics Commission. “Hey brother, just checking in with you,” Corey wrote. “Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 pm.”
Gillum texted back, “Awesome news about Hamilton.”
At the time, the musical was one of the hottest shows on Broadway with the best seats in the house going for as much as $849 and less prime seats averaging $475 on the secondary market, according to The New York Times.
The Ethics Commission’s probe into Gillum’s travel is separate from the FBI investigation. Florida law bars elected officials from accepting gifts worth more than $100 from lobbyists.
Bottom Line: Ok, so here’s the thing. The web that Andrew Gillum has woven is tangled enough that he’s in the cross-hairs of state investigators for increasingly clear ethics violations that were due to illegal gifts provided by the FBI as part of a federal investigation. Got all that? And now, he wants to run the state. Let’s be clear about where we are in this process.
Andrew Gillum has denied being the subject of an FBI investigation despite evidence pointing to him having accepted gifts from an undercover FBI agent. He’s denied being the subject of an FBI investigation but apparently hung out with an undercover FBI agent. Maybe he didn’t realize that he was the subject of an FBI investigation because one of his “friends” turned out to be an undercover agent investigating him. And that would appear to be the best possible excuse for him at this point.
Regardless, he’s repeatedly stated that his brother was the source of the Broadway tickets, yet he clearly acknowledged in the actual communication that “Mike Miller and the crew” were the sources of the tickets. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg here. The vacations and international travel that have been flagged are every bit as questionable. Unless you really think it’s possible to go on international vacations for $400.
So now what? Will it matter? Will the Palm Beach Post, Sun Sentinel, and Miami Herald retract their endorsements of him or do they condone this in the name of politics above principle?
Photo By: Getty Images