Andrew Tate tried to ‘recruit right-wing politicians to help him fight sex trafficking charges’

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Andrew Tate directed his associates to recruit two right-wing politicians to help him fight rape and trafficking allegations while in police custody, according to wiretaps of his phone calls submitted to a court by Romanian prosecutors.

The internet celebrity instructed two associates to tell the Romanian politicians, George Simion and Diana Iovanovici-Sosoaca, that he was being framed and supporting him would be ‘very good for their careers’, according to one of the exchanges.

‘So make it clear to them: You will get a lot of votes when Tate says you took their side,’ the former kickboxer said in the January 28 call to two of his associates.

Transcriptions of the wiretapped calls are included in a previously unpublished court document, dated February 21, compiled by Bucharest court officials and reviewed by Reuters.

Simion, a politician in Romania’s lower house, told Reuters he had never been contacted by Tate or his associates, and wouldn’t publicly support Tate if he was asked to.

Andrew Tate directed his associates to recruit two right-wing politicians to help him fight rape and trafficking allegations while in police custody, according to wiretaps of his phone calls submitted to a court by Romanian prosecutors. Pictured: Tate and his brother Tristan are led into the court of appeal in Romania on Monday 

The internet celebrity instructed two associates to tell the Romanian politicians, George Simion (pictured) and Diana Iovanovici-Sosoaca, that he was being framed and supporting him would be 'very good for their careers', according to one of the exchanges

The internet celebrity instructed two associates to tell the Romanian politicians, George Simion (pictured) and Diana Iovanovici-Sosoaca, that he was being framed and supporting him would be ‘very good for their careers’, according to one of the exchanges

Andrew Tate directed his associates to recruit two right-wing politicians, George Simion and Diana Iovanovici-Sosoaca (pictured) to help him fight rape and trafficking allegations while in police custody, according to wiretaps of his phone calls submitted to a court by Romanian prosecutors

Andrew Tate directed his associates to recruit two right-wing politicians, George Simion and Diana Iovanovici-Sosoaca (pictured) to help him fight rape and trafficking allegations while in police custody, according to wiretaps of his phone calls submitted to a court by Romanian prosecutors

Asked if he thought Tate had been framed, he replied: ‘The justice system will decide, not politicians.’

A spokesperson for Iovanovici-Sosoaca, a senator, said the wiretapped conversations were ‘lies’ designed to attack her.

The wiretapped calls were made between January 28 and January 31, according to prosecutors, about a month after Tate, 36, was detained with his 34-year-old brother Tristan on suspicion of rape, human trafficking and forming an organised crime group.

The brothers have denied all the charges. Reuters was unable to reach them in police detention for comment.

Contacted about the wiretap calls, the Tates’ lawyer Eugen Vidineac and a spokesperson for the prosecutors both declined to comment on an ongoing investigation.

British-American Tate, who has been based mainly in Romania since 2017, is an online influencer and self-described misogynist who has built up a following of millions of fans, particularly among young men drawn to his hyper-macho image.

The wiretapped calls offer a window into his multi-pronged attempts to defend himself while in detention, efforts that stretch beyond the courtroom into the realms of politics and social media.

Also in the January 28 call, detailed in the court document, Tate directs his associate Luke to release ‘party clips’ on social media that he said shows at least one of his alleged trafficking victims dancing in Bucharest.

The internet celebrity (pictured on 27 February) instructed two associates to tell the Romanian politicians, George Simion and Diana Iovanovici-Sosoaca, that he was being framed and supporting him would be 'very good for their careers', according to one of the exchanges

The internet celebrity (pictured on 27 February) instructed two associates to tell the Romanian politicians, George Simion and Diana Iovanovici-Sosoaca, that he was being framed and supporting him would be ‘very good for their careers’, according to one of the exchanges¬†

‘Yes, put them everywhere and say, ‘This girl says she is kidnapped when she is not kidnapped’,’ Tate says.

‘You’re saying you want me to discredit them, have social media pull hard, yes?’ asks Luke.

‘Yes, screw them,’ Tate replies.

The court document records the minutes of a Bucharest court hearing on February 21, when a judge extended the Tates’ detention until late March, as well as evidence submitted by the prosecutors, who allege the brothers ran a human-trafficking operation focused on creating online pornography.

Alexandru Risnita, another lawyer for the Tates, dismissed suggestions that the brothers were a flight risk if released from custody while the investigation progressed, the minutes show. 

He said it would be very hard for his clients to travel unnoticed because they were ‘the most famous people on the planet at the moment’.

Meanwhile, Tina Glandian, Tate’s lawyer, called her client a ‘free speech martyr’ and said there is no evidence of the allegations he is being investigated for.¬†¬†¬†

Speaking to Times Radio on Wednesday, Glandian said: ‘There is no evidence in the file of human trafficking. There’s no evidence of force or coercion, or forced transport, or forced labour, or any sort of deprivation of women’s liberty, which is at the heart of any sort of human trafficking charge.¬†

‘They have been investigated for a very long time and they have not been charged.’

¬†Ms Glandian said both Tate brothers have ‘public personas’ through which they say things their audiences want to hear.

Tate, 36, was arrested in December with his brother Tristan, 34, on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group to exploit women

Tate, 36, was arrested in December with his brother Tristan, 34, on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group to exploit women

‘That’s not evidence of crime, that’s not who they are as private people and that’s not what should be considered evidence in a court of law,’ she added.¬†¬†

Tate plays an ‘Andrew Tate character’ who says things for ‘entertainment’, not intending to be taken seriously, his lawyer has said.¬†

Asked on Times Radio on Wednesday about Tate’s comment that women bear responsibility for rape, Glandian insisted that a lot of what he has said has been ‘taken out of context’.¬†

She referred to the ’41 tenets of Tate’ in which he talks about ‘promoting loving consensual relationships with women’.¬†

The American lawyer, a partner at law firm Geragos & Geragos, went on to say that she is not trying to recast Tate as a feminist, but that her client’s controversial comments are not evidence in a criminal investigation.

‘We don’t prosecute rap artists because they say things about… criminal activity,’ she added.¬†