Florida to Investigate Mike Bloomberg’s Donations to Black, Hispanic Felons so They Can Vote

Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks during a campaign event, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has sent a letter to Florida law enforcement officials requesting they investigate billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s effort that has paid fines for 32,000 black and Hispanic American felons so they can vote in the November 3 presidential election.

On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that Bloomberg — a donor to Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden — had helped raised about $16 million to pay the fines for thousands of black and Hispanic American felons in Florida for the sole purpose of ensuring that they are eligible to vote in the upcoming election.

Now, Moody has asked Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen and the Florida’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Chief Michael McPherson to open probes into whether Bloomberg’s payments to help felons become eligible to vote is a violation of federal and Florida law.

“Governor DeSantis has asked that my office review recent allegations found in the enclosed September 22, 2020 Washington Post article and relevant law,” the letter states.

“After preliminary reviewing this limited public information and law, it appears further investigation is warranted,” Moody continues. “Accordingly, I request that your agencies further investigate this matter and take appropriate steps as merited.”

Florida has strict rules over “vote selling,” where any person who “corruptly offers to vote for or against, or to refrain from voting for or against, any candidate in any election in return for pecuniary or other benefit” is in violation of state law.

Likewise, those who accept a “pecuniary or other benefit in exchange for a promise to vote for or against, or to refrain from voting for or against, any candidate in any election, is guilty of a felony of the third degree” in Florida.

The probe comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) requested reviews of Bloomberg’s payments to felons, which were funneled through the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.

In 2018, Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment restoring the right to vote to about 1.5 million convicted felons. Last year, DeSantis signed into law a requirement that felons pay fines before they are allowed to vote in elections. About 775,000 felons still owe money before becoming eligible to vote.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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