DeSantis’ 2018 foe Andrew Gillum faces federal fraud charges – taps former top Hillary lawyer for defense

DeSantis’ 2018 Democratic foe Andrew Gillum charged with wire fraud, conspiracy, making false statements

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2018 opponent Andrew Gillum is being represented by Democratic attack dog, Marc Elias after he was charged on Wednesday with wire fraud, related conspiracy charges, and making false statements.

The former Tallahassee mayor was once the leftist golden boy in Florida. Not anymore. He was charged along with his mentor, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, for fraudulently fundraising from “various entities” between 2016 to 2019, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Allegedly, they diverted money to a company that was controlled by Lettman-Hicks, who then fraudulently disguised the funds as payroll payments to Gillum. Then they reportedly tried to cover it up.

Elias and a bevy of other attorneys representing Gillum are claiming he is innocent.

“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people,” Gillum declared, according to NBC News. “Every campaign I’ve run has been done with integrity. Make no mistake that this case is not legal, it is political. Throughout my career, I have always stood up for the people of Florida and have spoken truth to power. There’s been a target on my back ever since I was the mayor of Tallahassee. They found nothing then, and I have full confidence that my legal team will prove my innocence now.”

Elias and top criminal defense attorney David Oscar Markus issued a joint statement declaring their client’s innocence and that they would fight for him.

“The government got it wrong today. The evidence, in this case, is clear and will show that Mr. Gillum is innocent of all charges. We look forward to putting this case to rest and giving Andrew and his family peace of mind once and for all,” his attorneys said.

Andrew Gillum Indictment 20… by WCTV Digital Team

The month before he lost to DeSantis in 2018, Gillum was involved in a scandal where he reportedly sent text messages accepting improper gifts including New York Harbor boat trips and Broadway tickets to Hamilton from an undercover FBI agent claiming to be a real estate developer, according to The Capitolist. No charges were filed at that time against Gillum, but he consented to pay a $5,000 state ethics fine.

Gillum has previously come out as bisexual and admitted to a drinking problem after losing to DeSantis. NBC News is reporting that he was also the subject of an FBI investigation in 2019, according to campaign finance records and a leaked criminal subpoena.

The married father of three was not only a political leader on the left but a CNN commentator. Then he was hit with a sex scandal in March 2020 involving a suspected male overdose victim in a South Beach hotel. His indictment is a new low for the disgraced former mayor.

Two anonymous sources that had spoken with Gillum told NBC News on Tuesday that he began phoning friends frantically about the impending criminal case. They reportedly said Gillum surrendered to prosecutors at 10 a.m. and that his indictment could be unsealed at 1 p.m. ET. He makes his first appearance at 2 p.m., according to the DOJ.

“He’s down. He’s sad. He feels beat up,” one of the sources claimed, attempting to engender sympathy for the disgraced Democrat.

One of the sources said that Gillum got a call Tuesday morning informing him that he was going to be charged for campaign finance-related crimes.

The exact scope of the charges is yet unknown. Some are allegedly from before he ran for governor and occurred while he was still mayor of Tallahassee in 2016, according to NBC News.

Gillum and Lettman-Hicks “are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud. Gillum is also charged with making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” according to the DOJ. The known offenses carry a maximum term of 5 years imprisonment for making false statements, 20 years for wire fraud, and 20 years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

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