Florida Democrat, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, has been caught accepting bribes from two undercover FBI agents investigating city corruption.
According to a bombshell trove of newly discovered records, Gillum accepted Broadway show tickets from the agents investigating corruption in Tallahassee, one of whom was posing as a developer.
During a 2016 trip to New York City to see the musical Hamilton, Gillum also allowed the agents – who were claiming to be “looking for a dirty deal in the city” – to pay for his luxury hotel room.
The release of the records raises fresh questions just two weeks before the Nov. 6 election for Florida governor as Gillum prepares to go up against Republican Ron DeSantis.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, among the records released Tuesday: photos, a video and dozens of text messages between Gillum, who is the Democratic nominee for governor, former lobbyist Adam Corey, and an undercover FBI agent.
They appear to contradict Gillum’s explanation for the expenses, which have been made a major issue by his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis.
Gillum’s campaign has maintained — and continued to do so Tuesday after the records were released — that Gillum’s brother, Marcus, handed him the ticket the night of the show.
But text messages at the time of the trip show Gillum was told the tickets came from “Mike Miller,” an FBI agent looking into city corruption who was posing as a developer.
“Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.,” Corey texted Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016.
“Awesome news about Hamilton,” Gillum replied, according to the records.
The campaign has not said how Marcus Gillum, who lives in Chicago, came by such a sought-after Broadway ticket, or whether Andrew Gillum asked his brother about it.
“These messages only confirm what we have said all along,” Andrew Gillum said on Facebook Live.
“We did go to see Hamilton. I did get my ticket to Hamilton from my brother. At the time, we believed that they were reserved by friends of Adam’s, Mike Miller.
“And when I got there after work, got my ticket, we went in there and saw it, assumed my brother paid for it, and so far as I know, that was the deal.”
DeSantis’ campaign pounced with a statement:
“It’s now abundantly clear that Andrew Gillum has repeatedly lied about taking free gifts and trips from lobbyists. If he’ll lie about these gifts and trips from lobbyists on national television, what else is he lying about?”
Just two weeks before the election, a lawyer for a lobbyist at the heart of a Tallahassee FBI probe dropped more than 100 pages of records relating to @AndrewGillum's state ethics investigation.https://t.co/QGS0mcKuxT
— Lawrence Mower (@lmower3) October 23, 2018
The new records came from Chris Kise, an attorney representing Corey. Kise said he gave the records to the Florida Commission on Ethics, which is investigating a complaint about Gillum’s trips to New York City and Costa Rica with Corey.
He then gave copies to the campaigns of Gillum and DeSantis.
Once a close friend of Gillum’s, Corey is at the center of the FBI’s long-running probe into corruption in Tallahassee.
Gillum has repeatedly given vague answers to questions about who paid for the New York City trip.
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