Former Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum has been subpoenaed by federal grand jury

click to enlarge Former Florida governor candidate Andrew Gillum has been subpoenaed by federal grand jury
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Former Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum and his campaign are back in the Sunshine State's spotlight.

The Tampa Bay Times is reporting that a federal grand jury has issued a subpoena to Gillum and his campaign. It was issued in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee; the subpoena demands "documents, electronically stored information, or objects" dating back to January 2015 that relate to Gillum, his gubernatorial campaign and his political committee, Forward Florida. It requests that documents be turned over at either a Tallahassee courthouse or to the FBI by May 7.

According to a copy of the subpoena obtained by the Times, it demands information on:
  • John Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education, a Massachusetts-based non-profit, where Gillum's listed as a board member.
  • The nonprofit Opportunity to Learn Action Fund, where Gillum was president until at least 2017.
  • Donald Sussman, an investor and philanthropist who donated $1.5 million to Gillum's gubernatorial campaign, as well as Harris Parnell, a donor who has reportedly worked for Sussman.
  • Sharon Lettman-Hicks, a longtime friend and advisor to Gillum and the CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition, a black LGBTQ advocacy group.
It remains unclear what exactly the the grand jury is investigating. The FBI declined to comment on the Times' report. Orlando Weekly also attempted to reach out to the FBI for comment but could not reach a representative.

In a statement to the Times, Gillum said, "We stand ready to assist any future review of our work, because I am confident we always did the right thing and complied fully with the law."

Throughout his gubernatorial campaign last year, Gillum was plagued with questions surrounding an ongoing FBI investigation into corruption within the Tallahassee city government, where Gillum served as mayor.

Gillum claimed he had already met with investigators and that he wasn't the focus of their investigation. Prior to that, the FBI sent an undercover agent posing as a developer looking to secure a project when he accompanied Gillum and other city officials on a trip to New York, where the agent provided city officials tickets to the Broadway musical Hamilton.

Gillum, who joined CNN as a contributor earlier this year, wasn't charged with any wrongdoing. He has, however, agreed to pay a $5,000 ethics fine stemming from those issues.

More than 40 counts came from the FBI's investigation into Tallahassee city government, including against Scott Maddox, a former Tallahassee city commissioner and former Florida Democratic Party chairman; Paige Carter-Smith, a Maddox associate; and JT Burnette, a Tallahassee-based developer.

Most of the charges, which include mail fraud, wire fraud and extortion, were in relation to payments to Maddox's efforts to influence city business.

But as the Times notes in their report today, the new subpoena is more focused on Gillum's 2018 campaign and those associated with it, rather than connections to Tallahassee City Hall.

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