Andrew Gillum, the ex-Tallahassee mayor and former CNN analyst, who came within a whisker of becoming Florida governor, was acquitted of lying to the FBI on May 4.
A federal jury in the Northern District of Florida found Gillum, 43, not guilty of lying to the FBI. The jury deadlocked on 18 other charges against Gillum, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial, attorneys said.
Speaking to reporters outside of the courthouse with his wife, R. Jai, by his side, Gillum said he was grateful for “second chances” and relieved by the verdict, while also calling for reforms to the system.
“I think about what it has felt like, in my opinion, to be hunted … for seven years,” Gillum said. “To have people that you have known forever doubt you. To read things about you that don’t resemble the truth or who you are.”
Gillum was indicted in June of 2022 on 21 felony counts. Prosecutors alleged he and co-defendant, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, committed conspiracy, wire fraud and lied to investigators between 2016 to 2019. At issue were tens of thousands of dollars meant to be campaign donations that were, allegedly, funneled through Lettman-Hicks’ company and into their own personal bank accounts.
Gillum maintained from the start the indictment was politically motivated.
“They’ve quite literally tried to take everything from us,” Gillum said. “And the beauty is, in our system, the powers that be don’t always get to decide. Everyday people like you and me sometimes get our swings at the ball and today the jury took it.”
Campaigning to be Florida’s first Black governor, Gillum, a Democrat, lost by just 34,000 votes to Republican Ron DeSantis, then a Congressman, in the 2018 election.
In the aftermath of the election, Gillum struggled with alcohol addiction and depression and entered rehab. He was found passed out in a Miami Beach hotel room, in the company of two men.
Police found one of the men overdosed on what was suspected to be crystal meth. Some outlets reported the overdosed man was a gay escort. There were no arrests.
Not long after the incident, Gillum came out as bisexual and has remained married.
Andrew Gillum, Former Candidate for Governor, Comes Out as Bi