Fla. Politician Allegedly Threatened to Use Russian Mafia Hitmen Against Opponent

A purported secret call recording was published by Politico.

  • Published
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Image via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On June 10, 2021, Anna Paulina Luna, a Republican candidate for Florida’s 13th Congressional district, filed for a restraining order against GOP primary opponent William Braddock, alleging that he was conspiring to have her killed.

One week later, Politico published a phone call, recorded without Braddock’s knowledge, in which Braddock purportedly disclosed that if Luna was positioned to beat him in the primary, she would be killed by Russian mafia hitmen.

Our attempt to locate Braddock for comment have so far been unsuccessful. He doesn’t have a campaign website and didn’t respond to an email sent to an address located on a public records database. But Braddock told Politico that there is “no proof” the recording is of his voice. He also told Politico that the recording may have been edited.

The recording was made by Erin Olszewski, an activist and friend of Luna. Olszewski says she recorded the call on June 9 and promptly notified Luna before giving the recording to police. We reached out to Luna through her campaign website but didn’t get a response in time for publication.

Olszewski used two phones to make the recording, one for the call and one to take video of it, according to Politico. In the video recording, caller identification can be seen that reads “William Braddock.” 

At one point, prompted by Olszewski’s questioning, the man responded, “I call up my Russian and Ukrainian hit squad, and within 24 hours, they’re sending me pictures of her disappearing.”

When Olszewski asked whether the killers were snipers, the man responded, “Russian mafia. Close-battle combat, TEC-9s, MAC-10s, silencers kind of thing. No snipers. Up close and personal. So they know that the target has gone.”