Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for Florida governor, responded on Tuesday to criticism from his Trump-backed opponent about Gillum’s involvement in an FBI government corruption probe.
Federal investigators are looking into whether businessmen were able to influence city development projects. Gillum said the FBI told him he’s not the focus of its investigation.
The mayor noted that he’s cooperating fully with both agencies–unlike President Donald Trump and lawmakers like his GOP rival for governor, Rep. Ron DeSantis, who have tried to hobble the probe into possible collusion between the president’s campaign and the Russians.
“Here in Florida, we’ve done everything we can to aid the agency, while Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump have done the exact opposite — demonizing the FBI and making the case that collusion is not a crime,” Gillum’s camp said, according to ABC News.
On Monday, Gillum handed over travel receipts to a state ethics commission that’s conducting a separate investigation into the same matter that the FBI is probing, the news outlet reported.
“These receipts do nothing to shed light on his luxury trips to Costa Rica and New York City with lobbyists and undercover FBI agents. In fact, they simply raise more questions about Gillum’s ongoing involvement,” a DeSantis spokesman said.
Gillum’s connection to the investigation is reportedly centered on his relationship with local businessman and lobbyist Adam Corey, a college friend who at one time was Gillum’s campaign treasurer. Corey had reportedly set up meetings between undercover FBI agents, posing as land developers, and Tallahassee officials—including Mayor Gillum.
While casting stones at Gillum, DeSantis has been actively trying to place hurdles in front of the government’s investigation of the president.
Trump named DeSantis as one of his “warriors” in Congress. One of DeSantis’ “warrior” moves happened in 2017 when the congressman unsuccessfully pushed for legislation to stop funding the Russia investigation.