MSNBC host Joy Reid blasted the Department of Justice (DOJ) Wednesday night over the indictment of former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum.
“As a taxpayer and as a citizen, if what we get out of four years of this attorney general and this Department of Justice is Andrew Gillum, getting illicit ‘Hamilton’ tickets and search, if that’s what we’re paying for, we’re paying too much for the Department of Justice,” Reid said on her show.
In 2020, Gillum was photographed passed out naked in a Miami Beach hotel room, a collapse brought on by a reported crystal meth overdose.
On Wednesday, Gillum appeared in federal court in Tallahassee, pleading not guilty to a 21-count indictment to charges involving wire fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes.
The Indictment alleges that between 2016 and 2019, defendants Gillum and Lettman-Hicks conspired to commit wire fraud, by unlawfully soliciting and obtaining funds from various entities and individuals through false and fraudulent promises and representations that the funds would be used for a legitimate purpose.
The Indictment further alleges the defendants used third parties to divert a portion of those funds to a company owned by Lettman-Hicks, who then fraudulently provided the funds, disguised as payroll payments, to Gillum for his personal use.
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Both defendants are charged with 19 counts of wire fraud. Gillum is also charged with making false statements to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“I have spent the last 20 years of my life in public service and continue to fight for the people,” Gillum said in the statement. “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.”
The charges cover a time when Gillum was a candidate for Florida governor. He eventually became the party’s nominee in August 2018, but lost to Republican Ron DeSantis that November by less than 33,000 votes.