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Attorney Ben Crump is crowdfunding for Andrew Gillum’s legal defense

Associated Press

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump is crowdfunding for former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum’s legal defense. Gillum is facing charges of lying to the FBI and wire fraud in a campaign finance scheme.

Gillum joins a band of public figures who have used online platforms to raise money for their legal defenses.

High-profile defendants like Kyle Rittenhouse and some of the alleged perpetrators of the January 6th Capitol riot have also gone online to raise funding for their defenses.

Timothy Jansen is a former federal prosecutor. He says platforms like GoFundMe have made it possible to raise thousands of dollars for anyone seeking help for things like legal fees and so far, it has proven effective.

“I’ve seen GoFundMe become more popular recently probably in the last three to five years," said Jansen. "I’ve seen some high-profile cases where GoFundMe was utilized to help cover the cost of an expensive trial and try to get really good lawyers to defend them.”

A downside of that Jensen notes, is the inability to sometimes track where the money is coming from if gifts are made anonymously.

In an email shared with WFSU last Friday, Gillum’s lawyer David Oscar Markus thanked Crump and others for their fundraising efforts.

Gillum’s trial is set for April.

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