Rep. Alcee Hastings is pushing back against a recent memoir by a drug-trafficker-turned-government-informant that claims he sold the Florida Democrat cocaine when Hastings was a federal judge.
The book in question, “American Desperado: My Life — From Mafia Soldier to Cocaine Cowboy to Secret Government Asset” by journalist Evan Wright and former drug smuggler Jon Roberts, was released in November.
One passage in particular takes aim at Hastings:
“The only rich degenerates I knew in Miami were people I met when I did landscaping. One was a man named Judge Alcee Hastings. I bought a quarter ounce of coke from Gary and went to Judge Hastings and asked him if he’d like to buy some.
“‘Are you kidding me?’ he said. ‘I’ll take the whole quarter.’
“He was a happy judge.”
Roberts gained notoriety in pop culture with his star turn in the documentary “Cocaine Cowboys” about the drug trade in 1980s Miami.
Hastings says the passage is a complete fabrication.
“I don’t know this man, I don’t care to know him and I will follow up by calling Random House to ask them to retract whatever it is that they’re writing about me. I had absolutely nothing, at no time ever, to do with any cocaine. I have never even seen cocaine other than in a courtroom. I don’t have any knowledge of what he’s talking about. I resent it,” Hastings said in a voice mail.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.