Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has ordered an investigation into Michael Bloomberg after a story surfaced that claimed he was paying the fines of close to 32,000 felons so they could vote.
She sent a letter announcing the move to both the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI.
“I believe there may be a criminal investigation already underway of the Bloomberg-connected activities in Florida,” Matt Gaetz said earlier signaling the move.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he said.
“When you improve someone’s net worth by eliminating their financial liabilities, that’s something of value,” he said.
“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 Florida Republican added.
“The law is clear, this is something of value, and I am encouraged after my conversation with the attorney general. 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,” he told the network.
A memo from the Bloomberg team said paying felons fines is “a more cost-effective way of adding votes to the Democratic column than investing money to persuade voters who already have the right to vote.”
“We have identified a significant vote share that requires a nominal investment. The data shows that in Florida, Black voters are a unique universe unlike any other voting bloc, where the Democratic support rate tends to be 90%-95%,” the memo said.
BREAKING: Florida Attorney General orders investigation into @MikeBloomberg pledge to spend $16 million to allow convicted felons to vote in Florida. Comes after request from @GovRonDeSantis, a republican and Trump ally. #Election2020 pic.twitter.com/XgxGs53kut
— Jay O'Brien (@jayobtv) September 23, 2020
JUST IN: Rep. Matt Gaetz calls for investigation into Mike Bloomberg for "potentially engaging in bribery and vote buying in the state of Florida."
Gaetz says Blooomberg is paying the "debts of felons in exchange for their votes. Not every felon," just Biden voters. pic.twitter.com/hHSsn3PzEj
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 22, 2020