The Department of Justice has no records of then-President Donald Trump sending federal agents to Florida in 2018 to help Ron DeSantis win the governorship, despite Trump’s claims that he did so.

Trump claimed on Truth Social in November 2022 that he sent federal agents to Florida to fight “voter fraud” and prevent Ron DeSantis losing his 2018 gubernatorial election:

Screenshot of Truth Social post with text: "I also fixed his campaign, which had completely fallen apart. I was all in for Ron, and he beat Gillum, but after the Race, when votes were being stolen by the corrupt Election process in Broward County, and Ron was going down ten thousand votes a day, along with now-Senator Rick Scott, I sent in the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys, and the ballot theft immediately ended, just prior to them running out of the votes necessary to win. I stopped his Election from being stolen"

In response to a lawsuit brought by CREW, the Department of Justice wrote that the Office of the Attorney General had no records relating to Trump sending federal law enforcement to Florida in connection with the 2018 election. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida also confirmed they had no responsive records. The FBI previously told CREW and others that it had no records of Trump’s claims actually happening.

Donald Trump has long had a tenuous relationship with the truth, especially regarding election fraud. Trump’s Big Lie led to the January 6th insurrection and attack on the Capitol. In attempting to show that DeSantis was only elected with his help, Trump again pushed false claims of election fraud and stolen votes–but went even further to profess that he personally used federal law enforcement to stop it.

Had Trump actually used federal agents to interfere with election officials’ counting of ballots to sway the election in favor of a political ally, it would have directly undermined our democracy and election system. The only evidence of that happening, however, seems to rest alongside the evidence of a stolen election: in Trump’s head.

Updated to reflect the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida’s response.

Header photo of DeSantis by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license.

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