Sen. Ileana Garcia has withdrawn her proposed “Freedom Fighters Fund” bill, initially designed to aid Florida presidential candidates facing legal challenges, after Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed disapproval.
A piece of legislation proposing the establishment of a “Freedom Fighters Fund” has been withdrawn after facing scrutiny by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The measure, filed by Sen. Ileana Garcia on Jan. 5 and backed by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, would have created a pool of funds to provide up to $5 million in financial support to Florida residents running for President who face “legal, partisan, political attacks” by the Department of Justice or State Attorneys.
Ostensibly drafted to provide funds to GOP primary race frontrunner Donald Trump to ward off his laundry list of indictments, DeSantis took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to indicate that he would veto the measure. In response, Garcia stated that she would be withdrawing the bill.
“This bill was filed on January 5th amidst a crowded primary, including two Florida residents,” wrote Garcia on the platform. “My concern was the political weaponization against conservative candidates, and while Jimmy Patronis brought me this bill at a time when all candidates were committing to campaign through the primary, one frontrunner now remains, and he can handle himself. I will be withdrawing the bill.”
As drafted, the legislation would have frontloaded $5 million from the state’s Public Campaign Finance – Matching Funds Program, then backfilled from voluntary donations via driver’s license registrations.
Patronis has long been outspoken against the legal proceedings against Trump, referring to the procedures as a weaponization of the justice system in a prepared release upon the bill’s filing.
“The Left is really good at weaponizing the courts, and because President Biden is so unpopular, they’re not just trying to beat Trump at the ballot box, they’re trying to throw him behind bars, which is outrageous,” said Patronis. “We need this Freedom Fighters Fund because as the Free State of Florida, we’re facing an onslaught of attacks from the federal government against the Sunshine State.”
Trump presently faces legal challenges, including criminal and civil cases, in different U.S. jurisdictions. Criminal proceedings include the DC Trump Case, focusing on issues of presidential immunity and double jeopardy, and the Georgia case, where Trump is accused of election subversion. The Mar-a-Lago Case involves charges related to the handling of classified documents, including allegations of obstruction.
In civil litigation, Trump is a defendant in the New York Civil Fraud Case, initiated by the New York Attorney General, and two lawsuits filed by E. Jean Carroll. The Former President is additionally involved in various cases challenging the 14th Amendment in states like Colorado and Maine.