One day after authorities removed multiple boxes of evidence while executing a search warrant on a former GOP state legislator’s home, he has been taken into custody.
“Frank Artiles, the Republican political operative suspected of secretly arranging a sham candidate to run in a key 2020 state senate race, surrendered to a Miami-Dade County jail on Thursday to face felony campaign finance charges,” the Miami Herald reported Thursday. “Artiles, himself a former state senator, was seen arriving at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, along with his lawyer.”
“Artiles is facing several charges, including felony charges for making illegal contributions and false swearing in connection to the election, according to a copy of the arrest warrant,” the newspaper reported. “Prosecutors say Artiles offered Alexis (Alex) Pedro Rodriguez $50,000 to run in the race to ‘siphon votes from the incumbent,’ Democrat Jose Javier Rodriguez. Half was to be paid during the election and the rest after the election, Alex Rodriguez told prosecutors.”
Artiles actually only paid $44,708.03.
“The race pitted former TV personality Ileana Garcia, a Republican, against incumbent Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Democrat. Alex Rodriguez ran as an independent, did zero campaigning and took no calls from the media before the Nov. 3 election. But his candidacy was bolstered by deceptive political mail advertisements paid for by a dark money group whose address is a UPS store in Atlanta,” the newspaper explained. “Jose Javier Rodriguez lost by just 32 votes after a three-day recount, and Alex Rodriguez’s presence on the ballot was widely seen as a political ploy to confuse voters because of their shared last names and the dark money-sponsored political mailers.”
.@KathyFndzRundle reveals criminal charges over election shenanigans for SD37 race.
Says there is no evidence current GOP State Sen. Ileana Garcia knew about the plot, although (I will add) she did benefit from it. pic.twitter.com/2MNxpTO3L7
— Danny Rivero (@TooMuchMe) March 18, 2021
The newspaper noted Artiles resigned from the state Senate “in disgrace” in 2017 amid multiple scandals.
“The first was an alcohol-fueled rant in which he called two Black lawmakers a racist slur in a Tallahassee bar. The second involved the hiring of a former Hooters “calendar girl” and a Playboy model with no political experience as “consultants” using funds from his political committee,” the newspaper noted.
Watch authorities raid Artiles’ home:
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Georgia Prosecutors Are Opening a Criminal Investigation Into Trump’s Demand to Find 11,780 More Votes
Criminal Solicitation to Commit Election Fraud?
Georgia prosecutors are opening up a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump’s demand Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger find him 11,780 more votes, so he could overturn the results of that state’s election.
“On Wednesday, Fani Willis, the recently elected Democratic prosecutor in Fulton County, sent a letter to numerous officials in state government, including Mr. Raffensperger, requesting that they preserve documents related to Mr. Trump’s call, according to a state official with knowledge of the letter,” The New York Times reports.
“The letter explicitly stated that the request was part of a criminal investigation, said the official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss internal matters.”
It has been widely reported Trump’s call, audio of which has been publicly released (below), and his other actions in the state, may have violated Georgia statutes.
“Former prosecutors said Mr. Trump’s calls might run afoul of at least three state laws,” the Times adds. “One is criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, which can be either a felony or a misdemeanor; as a felony, it is punishable by at least a year in prison. There is also a related conspiracy charge, which can be prosecuted either as a misdemeanor or a felony. A third law, a misdemeanor offense, bars ‘intentional interference’ with another person’s ‘performance of election duties.'”
Trump told Raffensperger, “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state,” he lied.
“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”
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