Rep. Scott Taylor falsely claimed he was more than 150 miles away from his district when his campaign staffers collected more than 50 fraudulent signatures to place an independent candidate on the ballot who they hoped would smooth his path to re-election.
Taylor, R-Va., was in his district for at least two of the four days his staffers were helping a former Democratic opponent to get on the ballot to peel off votes from his current one, according to Taylor’s social-media posts analyzed by the American Ledger.
The analysis shows that while Taylor was in Washington on June 7, he traveled to Raleigh, N.C., the next day before appearing in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake in his district on June 9. On June 10, he attended another event in Virginia Beach.
On Wednesday, a federal circuit court judge in Richmond ruled the independent candidate, Shaun Brown, be removed from the ballot because her petition was “out and out fraud” in a case brought by the Democratic Party of Virginia, The Washington Post reported. A special prosecutor has been assigned to investigate the Taylor’s campaign’s role.
Taylor said in a radio interview last week he had been in Washington in June when his staff was collecting signatures to get Brown, his 2016 Democratic opponent, on the ballot alongside him and the Democratic nominee, Elaine Luria.
“You know, I — we were in D.C. when this stuff happened and certainly, there were a couple of folks on the campaign who should have known better, should have protected us from this not happening, and they are no longer with us,” Taylor told conservative radio host John Fredericks. “We made quick action once we found out that this was, in fact, the case. Fired them, moving on.”
The Taylor campaign had not returned an email seeking clarification Wednesday.
At least five staffers collected more than 600 signatures for Brown, helping her meet the 1,000-signature threshold to get on the ballot, from June 7 to 10.
Taylor has admitted several times that he knew his staff were gathering and submitting these signatures.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday about Taylor’s whereabouts during the signature-gathering, which has attracted the attention of prosecutors. Taylor was subpoenaed to attend a court hearing today in the case.