Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum on Tuesday released records relating to two trips he took with a Tallahassee lobbyist in 2016, following a meeting with a state ethics investigator.
The records shed some new light on Gillum’s trips with lobbyist Adam Corey, a longtime friend of Gillum’s who has been at the center of a long-running FBI investigation into city corruption.
The probe has not resulted in charges, and none of the subpoenas the FBI has issued to Tallahassee City Hall have mentioned Gillum.
But Gillum’s close association with Corey and trips they took to New York City and Costa Rica in 2016 have been heavily scrutinized.
In August that year, Gillum took a three-night trip to New York on behalf of the People for the American Way Foundation, a nonprofit that Gillum used to work for.
However, part of his trip was organized by a mystery developer named “Mike Miller,” who is now believed to have been an undercover FBI agent.
Miller tried to arrange a boat ride, tickets to a Mets game and tickets to the Broadway show “Hamilton” for Gillum, Gillum’s brother, and Corey, records show.
Days before the trip, Corey laid out the plans in a calendar invite to Gillum, according to the Tallahassee Democrat: “Gents, Here is the plan from Mike Miller: We are going to do the Mets game Wednesday night. My buddy arranged another boat deal for us Thursday afternoon. Also, we have rooms arranged for everyone starting Wednesday night at the Millennial Hilton.”
The timeline laid out by the campaign on Tuesday shows Corey’s plans were slightly off.
Gillum’s campaign released an unsigned hotel invoice showing he spent Tuesday and Wednesday night at a different hotel. The Open Society Foundation, another nonprofit, paid for the room, according to the campaign. On Thursday night, Gillum stayed at the Millennium hotel with his brother.
Gillum’s campaign said Tuesday that Gillum did not attend the Mets game and did not meet up with the group until Thursday night, when Gillum’s brother handed him a ticket to “Hamilton.”
“After the trip, Mayor Gillum learned Marcus Gillum had obtained that ticket in a swap with Adam Corey for a concert ticket,” Gillum’s campaign said in a statement.
But Corey’s lawyer told the Associated Press Tuesday night that the idea that Corey swapped tickets with Marcus Gillum was “nonsense.”
On Friday, the last day of the trip, Gillum took the boat ride around the Statue of Liberty with Corey and Miller. A photo of the three on the boat was published by Tallahassee television station WCTV.
Questions have also been raised about a trip Gillum and his wife took to Costa Rica with Corey and about 10 other people.
The campaign on Tuesday released copies of bank transactions and credit card statements to clear up details of the trip. The records show that Gillum took out $400 in cash the day before the trip, which he used to pay for their portion of a large villa the group shared.
“Mayor Gillum and his wife paid cash for their portions of the group lodging (similar to how someone might pay someone back if a reservation was booked on Airbnb), and paid by credit card for other outings,” the campaign said.
After news of the New York trip surfaced last year, Tallahassee businessman Erwin Jackson filed an ethics complaint against Gillum. Gillum and his lawyer met with the investigator Tuesday morning, according to the campaign.
Gillum used the release of the receipts to take a shot at DeSantis, who has been a vocal critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald Trump.
“Here in Florida, we’ve done everything we can to aide 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 said in a statement.
In response, DeSantis spokesman Stephen Lawson dismissed the records.
“These receipts do nothing to shed light on his luxury trips to Costa Rica and New York City with lobbyists and undercover FBI agents,” Lawson said. “In fact, they simply raise more questions about Gillum’s ongoing involvement.”
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