The cloud of corruption finally lifted from Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum with the release on Wednesday of an FBI report on its probe of city officials. It confirmed Gillum’s denial of wrongdoing and showed that his Republican rival for Florida governor Ron DeSantis exploited the investigation to win the election.
Gillum’s name was not listed among those indicted by federal authorities in an investigation into whether businessmen were able to influence Tallahassee development projects, Politico reported.
DeSantis led a racist campaign that poured millions of dollars into painting Gillum, who was running to become the state’s first African-American governor, as corrupt—even though Gillum had always said he was not a target of the probe. Republicans spent at least $7 million on TV ads to connect Gillum to the investigation. It paid off, with DeSantis winning a narrow victory.
“If the FBI had something on Gillum, they would have brought it by now or it would be in this indictment. They got nothing on Gillum. He got screwed,” said Steven R. Andrews, a Republican strategist who is also a criminal defense attorney representing one of the defendants in the case.
Gillum’s connection to the investigation was reportedly centered on his relationship with local businessman and lobbyist Adam Corey, a college friend who was previously Gillum’s campaign treasurer. Corey had reportedly set up meetings between undercover FBI agents, posing as land developers, and Tallahassee officials—including Gillum.
The FBI investigation was just one of the tools in DeSantis’ arsenal that included racist attacks. DeSantis has a long history of associating with white nationalists. Less than 24 hours after winning the GOP nomination in August, DeSantis blew a racist dog whistle when he warned Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for Gillum. Soon after, white supremacists answered the whistle by sending out racist robocalls. Another series of robocalls attacking Gillum went out during their first debate.
Gillum decidedly out-dueled DeSantis in the first debate through his mastery of the issues. But the Trump-backed candidate often used allegations of corruption to score points against Gillum.
Attorney General-Elect Of New York Letitia James Is Coming For Trump's Entire Family
1 of 10
Letitia James is about to exceed Mueller as Trump's biggest fear! She's a black woman who has the power of the law - a mandate - to investigate & charge to the fullest extent of the law Trump, his kids, his associates & members of his campaign, transition team and administration. https://t.co/ZnNR5oYtLP— Aisha K. Staggers (@AishaStaggers) December 12, 2018
2 of 10
This powerful and very sharp prosecutor is the new Attorney General we elected in NY State. She’s gonna look in every nook and cranny of Donald Trump’s Empty barrel of an empire. Get to know the name Letitia James. https://t.co/KjjDy8I2Cq— Pete Dominick (@PeteDominick) December 12, 2018
3 of 10
I interviewed Letitia James (@tishjames) years ago. She is an unapologetic boss who who has consistently followed through with her promises to NY. Considering Trump's attacks on Black women, wouldn't it be sweet victory if Trump was taken down by a Black woman? pic.twitter.com/blHMHpzieN— Clay 'Critical Thinking Theory' Cane (@claycane) December 12, 2018
4.4 of 10
5 of 10
Letitia James will rise as a heroine of the Resistance. The rule of law is on our side and now we have an excellent NY attorney general to pursue the Trump crime family from their tawdry base of operations. https://t.co/H0ohc2SlGJ— Suzanne Trimel (@STrimel) December 12, 2018
6.6 of 10
7 of 10
Letitia James, I love you already. Good luck and may the Force be with you.— Betty Walden (@BettyWalden13) December 12, 2018
8 of 10
Trump has repeatedly shown more contempt for the intelligence of black women than any other group that he’s insulted.— Skeevy Wonder (@larryjamad) December 12, 2018
It will be so satisfying to see Letitia James absolutely thrash him. And his kids.
9.9 of 10
FBI Confirms Gillum Is Not Corrupt And That DeSantis Lied was originally published on newsone.com