Award-winning investigative journalist Grant Stern broke a story today about the threat I received from a state official regarding both my civil case against the Florida Department of Health and the pending case against me resulting from the 2020 raid on my home. It’s another low point in DeSantis’ corrupt, obsessive and vindictive reign of terror over Florida. Within the first year of my coming forward as Florida’s COVID-19 whistleblower, his office claimed in response to a request for public records that he and his inner circle sent more than two million emails specifically about me and my case. Two. Million. DeSantis tried to throw everything at me. Nothing stuck. Nothing worked. Every move he’s made has backfired in spectacular, public fashion, angering him to the point of uncontrollable fixation and rage. My congressional campaign defeated, in a resounding Democratic Party victory, a sham candidate who openly worked with DeSantis’ key staff members. I was only free and clear on the ballot on the very last day of voting, having beaten her lawsuit to steal the election the day before election day, but still commanded a decisive victory. In the course of our victory, I helped inadvertently nullify parts of SB-90 - DeSantis’ largely unconstitutional and racist voter suppression bill. In June, the state of Florida, after more than 18 months of delaying, stalling and testimony devastating to their case, offered to dismiss the single charge against me stemming from the illegal raid of my home in December 2020. The raid in which police pointed a gun at my head and multiple guns at my children. The raid in which they refused to show me a warrant until it arrived three hours later - as they were leaving. The raid in which the world first saw DeSantis for the cowardly, impotent failed impersonation of a strong-man that he is.
They knew they had no case. The entire series of events was clearly retaliatory. The United States Supreme Court invalidated the law I was charged under in 2021, and the testimony from both police and DOH not only proved the worst aspects of what the world watched happen in my home, but that the "crime" they falsely accused me of committing was not even an agency policy violation. Ultimate dismissal was a favor to them we were willing to make in order to put this behind me so I could focus on defeating Matt Gaetz. However, after winning the lawsuit and then the primary election in Florida’s 1st Congressional district and advancing to the general election against DeSantis’ “wingman” and alleged sex trafficker Matt Gaetz, the terms changed. In a single email, the state exposed itself for the vicious and politicized agency it has become, and disproved its own unfounded lies that had defined their more than year-long smear campaign against me. They asked me to delete data they lied and said I never had access to-- the proof that would destroy DOH in court. They cited the data by the specific exhibit it was filed under with the state’s Inspector General, imploding their own narrative about my role in managing data and surveillance for the state during COVID-19. They asked me to drop the whistleblower complaint they spent months trying to deceive the public into thinking was already dismissed via Roger Stone’s “favorite reporter” Marc Caputo. Caputo’s inappropriate, misogynistic and unprofessional behavior toward me, including the many false statements he made and personal attacks on Twitter, was brought to the attention of NBC’s Ethics and Standards department and duly noted. They tried to intimidate me into agreeing that I’d never work or hold office in the state of Florida again. Should Charlie Crist defeat DeSantis, but I fail to defeat Gaetz, I would be the most logical appointment for head of the Department of Emergency Management. They’re trying to prevent that or any job for me in the state of Florida.
They wanted me to pay for the time officers spent holding my family hostage. They wanted an apology to the agency that has tormented my family for years. They wanted me to validate these claims by signing a statement proclaiming that all of this was “non-retaliatory, non-discriminatory action.” When I met with my attorneys just days after our landslide primary victory, I had one message for this revised offer, the state of Florida, and the Department of Health: Go fuck yourselves.
I would spend a year in prison if it meant forcing DeSantis to testify under oath about everything he knew and lied about regarding COVID-19 and this continued fixation with me. The state just established the connection between my whistleblower case and the political persecution and retaliation they've pursued all this time following the illegal raid of my home. Help me get to Congress and I’ll make sure that all political persecution of whistleblowers comes with severe consequences - including criminal prosecution of men like DeSantis. The fascists like to pick fights because they think they’re exempt from responsibility. They have no idea what Americans do to fascists who target the children of people who call them to account. So, let’s show them.