Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum faces new scrutiny over Hamilton ticket, texts, FBI agent

Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A new tranche of documents released Tuesday complicates Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum's story about seeing Hamilton during a 2016 business trip to New York. Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, continues to maintain he was given the Hamilton ticket by his brother, Marcus, and assumed he'd paid for it. A text message from longtime friend and lobbyist Adam Corey shows he was told "Mike Miller," an undercover FBI agent, played at least some role.

"Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.," Corey wrote. "Awesome news about Hamilton," Gillum replied. Miller was posing as a developer in a long-running investigation of corruption in Tallahassee. "No one has been charged," the Tampa Bay Times notes, "and Gillum has said that agents assured him he was neither a target nor a focus of the probe."

Gillum's Republican rival, Ron DeSantis, has made a big deal of the Hamilton tickets, and he pounced on the new documents, released by Corey's lawyer after being subpoenaed last week by the Florida Commission on Ethics. Gillum's campaign said the messages "vindicate and add more evidence that at every turn I was paying my own way or was with my family, for all trips." On Facebook Live, Gillum said the messages "confirm" that "I did get my ticket to Hamilton from my brother. At the time, we believed that they were reserved by friends of Adam's, Mike Miller."

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Gillum never reported the ticket as a gift, "as required by law," The New York Times reports, and "a gift from a family member would not have triggered state ethics rules for public disclosure." It's "rare but not unprecedented for the commission to use its subpoena power," the Tampa Bay Times adds. "By law, ethics complaints are confidential until they are dismissed, a probable cause finding is made, or the target of a complaint voluntarily waives confidentiality — which Gillum has not done."

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