By BRANDON LARRABEE
THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
Florida delegates to the Republican National Convention heard a blistering indictment Wednesday of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani saying the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee belongs in prison.
The attack from Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, came the day before Republican delegates will hear the acceptance speech of their own nominee for the White House, real-estate mogul Donald Trump.
“I never had a case that is as strong as the case against Hillary Clinton. … I will bet my life that if you put me in front of 12 fair and decent Americans and you let me prosecute this case against Hillary Clinton, she will go to jail,” Giuliani said at a breakfast for the Florida delegation.
Whether or not Clinton should serve time has become a recurring theme at the convention. The GOP faults Clinton for a variety of alleged sins and crimes, including using a private email server while she was secretary of state. Also, Republicans have gone after Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, about speaking fees and money received by a foundation while she was in office.
After a lengthy investigation of the server and how Clinton and others handled classified information, FBI Director James Comey recommended the U.S. Justice Department not pursue criminal charges in the matter. However, Comey said Clinton was “extremely careless” in her handling of the information.
On Tuesday night, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie presented the “case” against Clinton to the delegates at the convention, who acted as a “jury.” On all of the counts — many of which were not actual crimes — the audience loudly bellowed “guilty.”
At one point in Giuliani’s speech during the breakfast, the Florida delegates broke out in the “Lock her up!” chant that has become popular at the convention.
Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions, and his wife’s role in defending him against the attacks that followed those revelations, have also contributed to the attempts to paint Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy. Giuliani said Wednesday that she was the “enforcer in chief” for Clinton during his time in office.
Dick Morris, a onetime political consultant for Bill Clinton who has turned into a relentless critic of the former president and Hillary Clinton, also underscored the issue of the Clintons’ marriage in a speech at the breakfast.
“This marriage that began as a romance in the ’70s and the ’80s, and then became a business partnership in the ’90s, has become a racketeering organization, a RICO, where she sends Bill around the world passing the bag and people give him speaking fees and in return the State Department takes official action,” Morris said. “And now that she’s out of the State Department, she might be president, and the process continues.”
The Wednesday breakfast kicked off a day when delegates to the convention were set to hear evening addresses from two of Florida’s own high-profile Republicans: Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi.