Florida AG Refers Bloomberg for Criminal Investigation Over Felon Debt-Paying Scheme
Attorney General Ashley Moody calls on FBI to launch probe in Democrat billionaire
Billionaire Democrat operative Michael Bloomberg has been referred to the FBI for a criminal investigation after he spent $20 million on paying the debts off for convicted felons to enable them to vote in the state.
Attorney General Ashley Moody called on the FBI to launch a probe into Bloomberg following outrage over the move that appears to be an effort to boost votes for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Moody reportedly sent a letter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement requesting a federal criminal investigation into reports that failed Democratic presidential candidate Bloomberg raised millions to help convicted felons pay off their debts.
The move to pay off the debts bypasses a state law that blocks felons from voting in elections until they have completed their sentences.
The sentences are not considered "complete" if they are released from prison but still have unpaid fines or other debts associated with their crimes.
“The letter said that Moody’s office had reviewed Bloomberg’s pledge and referred the matter to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI for a criminal investigation,” CBS 12 reported.
“Moody’s letter references Florida’s statute against paying for votes, referencing a Florida Department of State finding that said ‘even an otherwise innocuous offering of an incentive simply to vote can run afoul’ of state election law,” CBS 12 added.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Bloomberg and his team had raised the money “to pay the court fines and fees of nearly 32,000 Black and Hispanic Florida voters with felony convictions, an effort aimed at boosting turnout for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.”
The Post added that “Bloomberg’s advisers identified that group as both likely to vote for Biden and more likely to vote than other groups of former felons.”
The letter from the Florida Attorney General’s office added the following statement from the Florida Department of State, Division of Elections, which came in response to an inquiry by a political committee:
Even other innocuous offering of an incentive simply to vote could run afoul of section 104.045 or section 104.061, or both, depending upon the circumstances involved.
That is, incentives could be offered to a voter in a way that would be designed to directly or indirectly cause the voter or a larger group of voters to vote in a particular manner.
In such a case, the person giving the incentive could be guilty of violating section 104.061, Florida Statutes, which makes it illegal to “directly or indirectly give or promise anything of value to another in casting his or her vote.”
An adviser to Bloomberg told The Washington Post that one of the reasons that Bloomberg wanted to do this was because “it immediately activates tens of thousands of voters who are predisposed to vote for Joe Biden.”
After listing off various statutes that may apply to the case, the letter concluded by asking the agencies to launch an investigation into Bloomberg’s actions.
“After preliminarily reviewing this limited public information and law, it appears further investigation is warranted,” the letter concluded.
“Accordingly, I request that your agencies further investigate this matter and take appropriate steps as merited.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has appeared on several Fox News shows over the last 24 hours where he has called for an investigation to be opened into the matter.
Gaetz said, “This is a specific inducement, to a specific segment of voters, to get them to vote a certain way, and I think it could be a crime.”