FACT CHECK: Rep. Scott Taylor Tries to Cover Up His Campaign Fraud

October 23, 2018

Virginia Beach, VA –. During today’s debate, Rep. Scott Taylor continued to dodge questions about what he knew and when he knew it regarding his campaign’s election fraud, and failed to explain why he broke his promise to immediately fire staff implicated in wrongdoing.

The truth is four staffers accused of fraud remained on Rep. Taylor’s payroll long after the scandal was brought to light, and received a paycheck days after a judge found that they had committed fraud. Notably, Rep. Taylor still refuses to confirm exactly which staff have and have not been fired from the campaign. The facebook live video where Taylor promised to fire the staffers was deleted by the Taylor campaign. However an archived version can be found here.

A campaign spokesperson for Taylor admitted that Taylor knew about the effort to gather signatures, “Yep, of course he knew.”

Background:

Taylor continued to pay staffers accused of wrongdoing
– Taylor had said he would purge his campaign of anyone involved in illegal activity.
– On September 5th, a Virginia judge threw out all of the petition signatures submitted by Taylor’s staffers, saying they were “rife with errors, inconsistencies,” and found “out and out fraud.”
– But Taylor continued to pay the staffers who collected the fraudulent petitions and signed affidavits invoking their Fifth Amendment rights if asked to testify against Taylor, including after the judge’s decision:
– Disbursed $6,000 for legal fees to Validus, an LLC associated with Daniel Bohner, and also paid him an additional $9,000 from consulting and staff time as recently as 9/12.
– Disbursed a total of $7,424.06 to Lauren Creekmore, including a 9/12 disbursement for “payroll”
– Disbursed a total of $13,500 to Heather Guillot, including a 9/12 disbursement for “campaign consulting – staff”
– Disbursed a total of $7,635.48 to Roberta Marciano, including a 9/12 disbursement for “payroll” and a 9/18 disbursement for “mileage reimbursement

Legal Fees
– Taylor’s campaign made four disbursements for legal fees during Q3
– $2,500 to Mark Andrews Law on 8/10 –Mark Andrews is a criminal defense attorney.
– $2,575 Plumlee & Overton PC 8/13 –Plumlee & Overton practices criminal law.
– $5,000 to Tavss Fletcher on 8/9 –Tavss Fletcher practices criminal law.
– $1,325 to Holtzman Vogel Josefiak on 9/18 –Holtzman Vogel Josefiak practices election law.
– Notably, four of those disbursements came within a week of the special prosecutor being appointed on August 7th.
– Also notably, Taylor had never paid any of these law firms prior to this quarter.

“The political scandal surrounding Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor’s campaign is still simmering as a state special prosecutor investigates allegations that four of Taylor’s campaign staffers and advisers forged dozens — possibly hundreds — of constituent signatures to help a third-party candidate onto the ballot this November. The 2nd District Republican continued to pay the four staffers accused of committing the forgeries, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine, his third-quarter filing with the Federal Elections Commission shows. Taylor also shelled out more than $10,000 in legal fees from his campaign coffers to at least four different law firms in August and September…Scott Weldon, a spokesman for Taylor, indicated that the staffers involved in the petition fraud scandal no longer work for the congressman’s campaign — even though they were each cut paychecks multiple times after reports of their alleged malfeasance surfaced in early August.”

“A judge on Wednesday found “out-and-out-fraud” in signatures Taylor’s campaign staff gathered to help get an independent spoiler candidate on the ballot. Richmond Circuit Judge Gregory L. Rupe ruled that independent Shaun Brown should be removed from the 2nd Congressional District ballot. Campaign staffers for Taylor helped gather signatures required to get Brown on the ballot. Investigations by news media and the Democratic Party showed forged signatures, including from voters who had died or no longer lived in the congressional district.”

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