SACRAMENTO (AP) — Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff said Friday that he believes he unwittingly met with an FBI undercover agent during a meeting set up by Sen. Leland Yee and one of Yee’s campaign aides, both of whom now face federal charges.
Huff, R-Diamond Bar, told reporters that Yee and aide Keith Jackson worked through his scheduler to set up what he believed was a routine meeting last August that also included Huff’s legislative director.
Yee and “kind of a long-haired guy in casual clothing” showed up to discuss some Republicans’ opposition to medical marijuana, Huff recalled.
Huff said there was no effort to seek his support for any legislation, nor any other overtures by Yee or the other man. He said the date of the meeting matches details in an FBI affidavit that details a meeting with an unnamed “State Senator 2.”
“He just kind of wanted to know what Republican opinions were on marijuana and why we were so opposed to it,” Huff recalled. “He purported to be a successful medical marijuana guy from another state.”
The FBI affidavit alleges that Yee was paid $10,000, through Jackson, for setting up the meeting.
Huff said he was surprised by the line of questioning: “I thought everybody knew, we’re the law-and-order guys. We think it’s a slippery slope, gateway drug and all that.”
He said he has not heard from the FBI or federal prosecutors.
Yee was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday in a criminal sting operation.
He is charged with accepting money and campaign donations in exchange for providing official favors and negotiating an attempted arms deal. He faces six counts of depriving the public of honest services and one count of conspiracy to traffic in guns without a license.
His attorney, Paul DeMeester, says Yee plans to plead not guilty. Jackson has not entered a plea.