OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
4:52 PM – Monday, January 8, 2024
Florida’s Republican Party has removed Christian Ziegler from his party chairmanship position amid a sexual assault investigation.
On Monday, Florida Republicans voted to oust Ziegler from his position after he had been accused of sexual assault.
On Monday, in an emergency meeting held behind closed doors in Tallahassee, he was removed in a 199-3 vote.
“The Republican Party had no choice,” said St. Petersburg College professor Tara Newsom. “The conflict that is following the Zieglers is now following the Republican Party.”
Following the meeting, Vice Chair Evan Power was elected to take on the chairman role. He stated that he was voted into the position with a vote of 135-65.
“I feel good,” Power announced after the vote. “I think we’re ready to move Florida forward. It’s good to have this chapter behind us. You know, the Republican party of Florida is bigger than one person and what we did today is come together and close this chapter and move on so we can continue winning elections as we move forward.”
Since October, the Sarasota Police Department has been looking into Ziegler.
On October 2nd, 2023, the day of the alleged assault, Ziegler and his wife Bridget had arranged a three-way sexual encounter with a female victim.
However, “when the victim learned that Bridget could not make it, she changed her mind and canceled the meetup with Christian,” according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the press from the Florida Center for Government Accountability.
The Zieglers have claimed that the sexual relationship with the accuser was “consensual.”
According to the affidavit, Ziegler was seen on surveillance footage showing up at the alleged victim’s home the day of the alleged assault. He reportedly entered the apartment and sexually assaulted the woman while she was “sitting on a bar stool.”
In addition, Sarasota police are in the process of examining if Ziegler breached Florida’s video voyeurism laws by recording the sexual encounter at the base of the investigation.
Last month, Ziegler’s attorney Derek Byrd made a statement claiming that he would be freed of any wrongdoing.
“We are confident that once the police investigation is concluded that no charges will be filed and Mr. Ziegler will be completely exonerated,” Byrd said.
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Senator Rick Scott (R-Fla.), and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) had all called for Ziegler’s resignation. The Florida Republican Party, which still gave Ziegler the title of chairman until Monday, had cut his pay to $1 a year last month. They had also removed his authority to speak on behalf of the party, hire and fire employees, and raise money.
As of now, Christian Ziegler has not been charged with any crimes and has continued to deny any wrongdoing.
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