Monday, February 6, 2023

Charges against former Florida gubernatorial candidate remain

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. ( Associated Press) – A Florida federal judge has declined to drop criminal charges against Andrew Gillum, disagreeing with the former Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s claims that he was targeted for being a criminal, black candidate for the state executive. I went.

Gillum and an associate were indicted earlier this year on federal charges including conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements to FBI agents. Prosecutors say Gillum made donations through third parties for his own personal use.

According to prosecutors, Gillum met with undercover FBI agents posing as real estate developers when he was mayor of Tallahassee and campaigning for governor. According to the indictment, his associates solicited donations from undercover agents and suggested ways to provide them with money without being labeled as political contributions, which included paying for fundraising dinners.

Gillum has pleaded not guilty and denies the allegations, saying they were politically motivated.

Saying that the defendants’ arguments were “without merit,” US District Judge Alan Winsor last week dismissed the motion of the four defendants seeking to challenge the continuance of the judicial process.

Gillum asked for the charges to be dismissed because prosecutors were slow to file them and because he was being prosecuted because of his race and political views. The judge, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, responded that Gillum had offered nothing to support his claim of selective prosecution because of his race or political stance.

Gillum was the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, losing the race to Republican Ron DeSantis. After losing, Gillum was still seen as a rising star in Democratic politics and was hired as an analyst for CNN.

Then, in March 2020, Gillum was found intoxicated and unconscious in a hotel room with two men, including one who works as an escort for the men. Two days later, he entered a rehabilitation center, and later gave a television interview in which he claimed to be bisexual.

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