Michael Bloomberg donated millions of dollars to help convicted felons in Florida register to vote.
But will he get away with it? Maybe, but maybe not.
Florida’s attorney general is requesting that the FBI and state law enforcement look into the billionaire for donating millions of dollars to pay the outstanding fines of 32,000 convicted felons in Florida, all to help them regain their right to vote in the upcoming election.
In a letter to the FBI and Florida Department of Law Enforcement, state Attorney General Ashley Moody wrote that she had looked into Bloomberg’s fundraising and personal donation to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, saying“it appears that further investigation is warranted,” according to the New York Post. “Accordingly, I request that your agencies further investigate this matter and take appropriate steps as merited.”
The former presidential candidate raised over $16 million and donated $5 million to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a move that would benefit ex-cons as part of a 2018 state constitutional amendment allowing felons who have served their time to regain their right to vote. But, in order for them to regain that right, they need to pay any outstanding fines, fees or restitution.
In comes Bloomberg to save the day, with only 40 days left until the election.
News of concern over Bloomberg’s extremely generous donation first emerged on Tuesday when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) said that a criminal probe may already be in the works during an appearance on Fox News, according to the New York Post.
“[Under Florida law] 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 debts, you would obviously see the value in that.”
After dropping out of the presidential race in March, Bloomberg endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and is doing all he can to garner votes for the former vice president in Florida.
Not only did he donate millions to help felons register to vote, Bloomberg also announced a $100 million push for the presidential candidate in Florida earlier this month.
“Voting starts on Sept. 24 in Florida so the need to inject real capital in that state quickly is an urgent need. Mike believes that by investing in Florida it will allow campaign resources and other Democratic resources to be used in other states, in particular the state of Pennsylvania, said Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey, according to the New York Post.
With the election right around the corner, an FBI into Bloomberg’s big pocket donations could give Republicans the ammunition they need to secure the White House for four more years.