Lawyers for Andrew Gillum, the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Florida, are demanding a court hearing to investigate Donald Trump’s claim that he intervened in the ballot count that year to support Republican Ron DeSantis.
“I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win,” Trump said, claiming he “fixed” the DeSantis campaign.
“I stopped his election from being stolen.”
Gillum’s attorneys pounced on the information.
“Former President Trump’s posts raise serious questions about how exactly Trump ‘fixed’ DeSantis’ campaign and what Trump directed the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to do, and whether there is any connection to the FBI’s investigation and later prosecution of Gillum,” his lawyers wrote in a court action Friday, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
Gillum, a former mayor of Tallahassee, got hit with federal public corruption charges last year over donations to his gubernatorial campaign. His attorneys argue that Trump’s claims of supposed intervention in the ballot count suggest a retaliatory scheme against the one-time DeSantis rival.
So far, there’s no evidence that Trump was telling the truth.
Election officials in Broward County blasted the former president’s statements as flatly untrue.
“The Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office has no documentation of any federal law enforcement presence during the 2018 elections,” Ivan Castro, a spokesperson for the county supervisor of elections, said in a statement this week. “Also, to clarify, there is no evidence of corruption during the 2018 election cycle in Broward County.”
Trump has criticized DeSantis in recent days, with the two men widely seen as potential rivals in the next Republican presidential primary. Trump came up with the mocking nickname “Ron DeSanctimonious” for his possible competitor, and Roger Stone, a Trump ally, has attempted to characterize DeSantis as ungrateful for Trump’s support during his 2018 election bid.
Neither Trump nor DeSantis has commented on the former president’s post.