Newly released documents show that an undercover FBI agent paid the bill for the food at a 2016 fundraiser for Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum's political action committee.
On April 11, 2016, Forward Florida, Gillum's PAC, held a fundraiser for 40 people. The menu included items like filet mignon, salmon mousse canapés, cocktails, and an open bar for beer catered from a restaurant owned at the time by Gillum's lobbyist friend Adam Corey. The event was also held at Corey's house.
The documents include an email from Corey to an undercover FBI agent who was going by the pseudonym Mike Miller. The email read, in part:
Attached is the invoice for the dinner you graciously offered to sponsor. As mentioned, it was a bit higher than I expected because of some last minute attendees so let me know what you would like to cover and I'll handle the rest. Again, I really appreciate this!
The bill for that event came to $4,386. Forward Florida did not include this contribution in its records.
In another email, Corey asks a campaign finance consultant named Brice Barnes if Gillum ever connected “with Mike Miller to thank him for co-sponsoring the food.” Barnes responded that Gillum had sent Miller “a personal note.” On Friday, Barnes told the Miami Herald that he did not “have any information other than the email exchange.”
Corey also asked Miller to give him “a shout about the Vegas trip you mentioned,” adding “I have another idea.” Trips that Corey and Gillum took with Miller have also come under scrutiny.
This document dump is in addition to the 150 pages of text messages, emails, and photos that were released on Wednesday by the Florida Commission on Ethics. These documents seemed to contradict Gillum's repeated claim that his brother Marcus, and not Miller, had paid for tickets to see the Broadway musical "Hamilton."
In September, Gillum released receipts in an effort to dismiss allegations brought up by his Republican opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.). However, these documents omitted crucial details and still left many questions unanswered.
Why does this matter?
While Gillum was mayor of Tallahassee, the FBI was conducting an investigation into the city government. Gillum has long insisted that he had never been a target of this investigation. These repeated interactions with Miller and the payments would suggest that the FBI may have been looking into Gillum.