It's possible a "criminal investigation" is underway involving millions of dollars Mike Bloomberg has helped raise to allow Florida ex-felons to vote, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said.
Gaetz was on Fox News Tuesday night and told host Sean Hannity that the effort involving Bloomberg, singer John Legend, and basketball star LeBron James may have broken the law.
"I believe there may be a criminal investigation already underway of the Bloomberg-connected activities in Florida," Gaetz said.
In Florida, he said, "it’s a third-degree felony for someone to either directly or indirectly provide something of value to impact whether or not someone votes. So the question is whether or not paying off someone's fines and legal obligations counts as something of value, and it clearly does.
"If Michael Bloomberg was offering to pay off people's credit card debt, you would obviously see the value in that.
"[W]hen you improve someone's net worth by eliminating their financial liabilities, that's something of value. Normally, it would be very difficult to prove that that was directly linked to impacting whether or not someone was going to vote. But they literally wrote their own admission."
The effort involves paying off ex-felons' outstanding fines and court fees, which under Florida law are required to be settled before certain non-violent felons can have their voting rights restored. More than 44,000 people nationwide contributed to the funds including sports stars and Hollywood celebrities.
"The law is clear this is something of value, and I am encouraged after my conversation with the attorney general," Gaetz said. "I hope we have good law enforcement all over the country looking for the cheating and the tricks that these Democrats are going to try in this election."
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