by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Florida state Sen. Ileana Garcia, a Miami Republican who endorsed former President Donals Trump’s presidential candidacy months ago, introduced legislation last week that would have forced Florida taxpayers to cover his mounting legal bills.
It would have made state money available to Florida residents running for president who were “subject to political discrimination.” In a statement put out by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, not by Garcia’s office, Garcia said her legislation was necessary because “we’re in the midst of an historic moment where we’re watching an election that’s trying to be stolen by left-wing prosecutors, the Biden administration, and even Blue States.”
“Having a Floridian in the White House is good for our state, and anything we can do to support Florida presidential candidates, like President Trump, will not only benefit our state, but our nation,” the statement continued.
Patronis, who also endorsed Trump months ago, has been a vocal proponent of using state funds to pay Trump’s legal bills. But Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Trump this week, threatened to veto the bill on Monday. Garcia then said it was Patronis who brought her the legislation and encouraged her to introduce it.
Trump faces hefty bills from his legal disputes, and it is true that some are frivolous, especially Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s “falsifying business records” prosecution, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’s conspiracy charges, and special counsel Jack Smith’s conspiracy charges.
But if Trump had not paid a porn star or advanced his frivolous fraud charges contesting the 2020 election, he wouldn’t be in any of those legal disputes. And Smith has Trump dead to rights on mishandling classified documents and interfering with the investigation of those charges.
These are all problems of Trump’s own making, and he should pay for concluding these disputes himself.