- Outgoing state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate a claim by former President Donald Trump
- In a statement, Trump said that he helped DeSantis secure his 2018 gubernatorial victory
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is urging the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate former President Donald Trump after he sent federal agents to Broward County to keep the 2018 election from being “stolen” from Governor Ron DeSantis.
In a Monday letter, Fried, an outgoing cabinet member and former Democratic gubernatorial candidate, asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the allegations made by Trump surrounding his actions during the 2018 Florida elections.
“To my knowledge, there was no involvement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the Office of the US Attorney in the 2018 Florida election,” Fried said.” If the President was tampering with state ballots, we need to know. If he is fabricating these allegations in the name of politics, we also need to know. Either way, these actions hurt our democracy and Floridians deserve to know their elections are operating with integrity.”
Fried’s letter comes shortly after the 2022 midterms when Trump, who is banned on Twitter and Facebook, released a statement, lashing out at DeSantis after the popular governor easily defeated Democrat Charlie Crist to win re-election. In it, Trump claimed to have “fixed’ DeSantis’ campaign while also saying he helped eliminate “ballot theft” in the state by ordering the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Office of the US Attorney to intervene.
“(After) the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen,” Trump wrote.
The 2018 election saw three races in Florida go to a recount — the U.S. Senate, Governor, and the Agriculture Commission races.
Following the recount, Scott won his U.S. Senate seat by about 10,000 votes over Democrat Bill Nelson, while DeSantis won his 2018 election over Democrat Andrew Gillum by about 32,000 votes. Fried also won by 6,753 votes over Republican Matt Caldwell.
To view the full letter, click here.