By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida
TALLAHASSEE — A federal judge has refused to dismiss charges of lying to the FBI and wire fraud against former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, while also short-circuiting a Gillum contention that he is a victim of selective prosecution.
U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor on Thursday issued a 21-page ruling that rejected arguments made by attorneys for Gillum, who was indicted in June along with a longtime adviser, Sharon Lettman-Hicks.
The indictment alleged that Gillum, a former Tallahassee mayor, made a false statement to the FBI, took part in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and committed wire fraud. Gillum, who narrowly lost the 2018 gubernatorial race to Republican Ron DeSantis, pleaded not guilty, and a trial is scheduled in April.
The charges came after a lengthy federal investigation into corruption in city government and included allegations that political contributions were diverted to Gillum’s personal use.
Gillum’s attorneys last month filed three motions seeking dismissal of charges and one motion seeking an evidentiary hearing on a contention that Gillum was singled out for prosecution because he was Black candidate for governor.
“Here, it appears that Gillum was singled out, investigated, and prosecuted because he was a Black candidate for governor, while others similarly situated (white and Republican candidates for governor) have not been targeted, investigated, and prosecuted in the same manner,” the Nov. 8 motion on the selective-prosecution issue said.
But Winsor, who was appointed to the federal bench by former President Donald Trump, wrote Thursday that Gillum did not show evidence of “discriminatory effect.”
“(Even) if he had offered evidence of discriminatory effect, he would still have to show discriminatory purpose,” Winsor said. “He would have to cite evidence showing that the government’s decision to prosecute him was ‘because of’ a protected characteristic. But he offers no evidence suggesting race- or political-affiliation-based prosecution.”
Gillum’s attorneys raised a series of arguments in trying to get charges dismissed, including that prosecutors had violated Gillum’s due-process rights because of lengthy delays before the indictment.
In part, they wrote that prosecutors waited nearly five years to charge Gillum for allegedly making false statements to the FBI related to conversations he had with undercover agents posing as representatives of a development company.
“If Gillum had in fact made false statements during the June 14, 2017, conversation, the FBI would have been aware of the facts supporting that crime on June 14, 2017,” Gillum’s attorneys wrote. “Instead of charging Gillum then, the government sat on this charge for nearly five years. The delay was necessarily deliberate and tactical (or reflective of a lack of genuine belief that a false statement was made).”
But Winsor called the motions filed by Gillum’s attorneys “meritless.”
On the issue of delays in filing charges, for example, he said Gillum’s attorneys did not argue that a statute of limitations had been violated.
“Faded memory is a possibility inherent in any delay; it does not constitute actual prejudice sufficient to bar prosecution,” Winsor wrote. “Second, even had he shown prejudice, Mr. Gillum has made no showing that the government delayed to gain a tactical advantage. He offers no reason to conclude that this was the purpose: he simply says it was.”
Florida dodged the proverbial bullet when Gillum lost the governor race. He is a corrupt, drug addict that, hopefully, will do substantial prison time.
They look like clown cars…. one step forward 10 steps back. Tallahassee is in a crisis and leadership does nothing because there is no leadership, the inmates are running the asylum, literally.
I think a recall is in order… and the sooner the better.
@ N. Weed: The sad part is, Recently, TPD bought about 50 Toyota’s for “Community Officers” that are to handle minor traffic accidents and yet I can only remember see ONE of those Cars on the road.
“ He offers no reason to conclude that this was the purpose: he simply says it was.”
That statement alone sums up the foundational modus operandi of the entire Marxicrat Party and it’s political oppositional operations. Always remember this one important reality… whatever the Marxicrats and their Media PACs accuse the opposition of, they themselves are already doing it or have already done it.
TPD refuses to handle traffic accidents. They refuse to come to the scene of an accident. After complaining they send a “Community Circus” patrol.
The lawlessness continues in Tallahassee.
The city (city manager) is derelict in their duty and lawlessness continues.
Just to keep us focused on what is true so right thinking citizens of Leon/Tallahassee dont allow their minds to slip into the vapors of wrongfull thinking.
Because of this apparent game changing initial rulling which appears to go against Gillium and his accomplice at this time you may be wondering – what has not changed?
I’m glad you asked. Here it is: As you know a full 70% of your Leon/Tallahassee neighbors vote Democrat at every election each and every time and always will for ever. So with the exception of 3% of your thinking liberal neighbors who see Gillum and his accomplice for what they are – if Gillum ran for any local office he still would receive an amazing 67% of your neighbor’s votes.
Thats right your neighbors are still in love with all things Gillum. And you better understand that for what is to come in the future regarding Leon/Tallahassee.
Yeah I know what I just told you defies all logic in your right thinking brain. Keep in mind your liberal neighbors are nothing like you in their thinking abilities.
We are just one appeal which lands in front of the typical leftist Judge for all charges to be dropped in exchange for court costs or even more insulting for payment of a $5,000.00 fine.
It’s not over by a long measure my friends…dont get too happy yet. Now on the slim change the defendants get any jail time out of this you have my perimission to “get happy”.
Oxygen is more important than water for your continued health so please dont any of our 30% of Leon/Tallahassee’s right thinking voters begin “holding your breath” for any jail time.
This public service anouncment was brought to you by Snidely Whiplash
It took longer for Gillum’s investigation because of his privilege. The dotting of the ‘I’s’ and crossing of the ‘T’s” have to be more firmly in place.
The average voter in Leon County is about as dumb as a sack of hammers. As evidenced by one Andrew Gillum…
This was a brutal take-down by the judge and a blueprint for prosecutors moving forward.
How long before Sean Pittman gets charged or becomes a government witness?
If There is Any Justice in this World ?…..Gillum should be Locked ? Up ?
WTF Tallahassee reports…can’t I say the obvious? Gillium and 2 other guys were bombed on drugs, having gay sex before they all passed out. Did I cross the line?
Original post censored.
I’ll do you one better. Imagine your 5 year old wonders off and you find him/her with a stranger in the park. The stranger is showing your 5 year old a book of men having sex. What would you do….beat the $h1t out of the stranger? Well that is exactly what your Leon Co. School board wants to show your child. Democrats see this as normal. Plus keep it a secret from the parents. Let’s Go Brandon.
Gillum’s inept attorneys forgot they were not in front of leftist tool and Federal activist Judge Hinkle. Gillum’s attorney’s lame defense and lame motion to dismiss would have 100% worked with Hinkle.