Former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and campaign advisor Sharon Lettman-Hicks are set to face a federal trial in less than two weeks. Gillum and Hicks face charges of wire fraud and both will stand trial April 17th. The two are accused of funneling money donated to Gillum’s political campaign for his personal use, and Gillum faces an additional charge of lying to the FBI.
Recent reports have indicated a superseding indictment may be filed. However, it is unclear whether any new indictment would include additional charges.
Ahead of the trial, attorneys on both sides have been seeking to limit what the jury can hear.
The jury was set to hear six recordings of Gillum taken by undercover FBI agents. Gillum’s defense team is asking the judge to bar the jury from hearing the recordings. They argue that five of the recordings do not feature Gillum at all. Gillum is present at the Edison restaurant for the sixth recording but leaves after an hour and 22 minutes. Gillum’s attorneys claim prosecutors are using the recordings as a way to spread a false image.
Gillum’s attorneys are also asking the judge to bar the jury from seeing any evidence of his April 2019 Florida Ethics Commission settlement. Gillum agreed to pay a $5,000 civil fine in that settlement. His attorneys argued that the settlement is irrelevant.
Federal prosecutors have also filed several motions within recent weeks.
U.S. Attorney Jason Cody is asking the judge to bar the jury from hearing any of Gillum’s claims of selective prosecution and a nearly five-year delay in charging him with a crime. Prosecutors argue that the evidence irrelevant and will divert the jury’s attention away from unimportant matters.
Gillum and Hicks were charged as part of the FBI’s long-running corruption probe (Operation Capital Currency) which targeted prominent local politicians. Previously, Mayor and City Commissioner Scott Maddox, his aide, Paige Carter-Smith and business man John Burnette were all convicted earlier and sentenced to federal prison.