President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday night that law enforcement is looking into another "big corruption scandal" dealing with election fraud in Florida.
"Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!" Trump wrote in a tweet.
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Law Enforcement is looking into another big corruption scandal having to do with Election Fraud in #Broward and Palm Beach. Florida voted for Rick Scott!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2018
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) had maintained a lead over Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) since election night, but his slim lead has diminished as more votes were tallied. Broward and Palm Beach counties, both Democratic leaning areas, have reported the discovery of more ballots after the election, which have cut down Scott's lead to a margin that requires, according to state law, a manual recount. The recount is schedule for Nov. 10.
Scott's campaign has filed two lawsuits against Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes and Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher for not complying with state public record laws. As governor, Scott has also asked state law enforcement to investigate election officials in Broward county.
Politico reports Scott's action is unprecedented but that he won't directly oversee the investigation.
The announcement, blurring Scott’s official roles as governor and U.S. Senate candidate, is the latest twist in a midterm election cycle that has once again put Florida in the national spotlight for election gaffes. In simple terms, Scott is asking state law enforcement to investigate two local election officials playing a pivotal role in a recount that involves his run against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is overseen by the Florida Cabinet, not Scott directly, but in 2015 he had a big role in ousting the department’s commissioner and installing current Commissioner Rick Swearingen. Gretl Plessinger, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, said the agency will open an investigation at Scott’s request.
Scott addressed reporters on Thursday night in an impromptu news conference.
"The people of Florida deserve fairness and they deserve transparency and the supervisor of elections is refusing to give it to us," Scott said. "I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election."
Florida's gubernatorial race will also head to a recount as ballots discovered in Broward and Palm Beach counties narrowed the margin to just below the recount-triggering 0.5 percent mark in that race.