A Virginia special prosecutor said on Monday he was presenting two indictments of election fraud against a person who worked on the unsuccessful re-election campaign for Republican Congressman Scott Taylor last year.
On Monday, special prosecutor Donald Caldwell released a statement about the indictment of the aide, who we now know is Lauren Creekmore Peabody, a former aide to the ex-Congressman, who allegedly took part in a scheme to forge voter signatures for a third party ‘spoiler’ candidate last November.
The strategy of the forgery scandal was supposedly to be successful at taking voters away from Taylor’s main opponent, the now-Congresswoman Elaine Luria. The third-party candidate in the race was Shaun Brown, who had previously lost to Taylor during a run in 2016. Fortunately, Democrats realized what was going on and sued and the judge who oversaw the case said there was clear evidence of “out and out” fraud by Taylor’s campaign staff. Brown was ultimately removed from the ballot.
Caldwell, who is the current Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Roanoke, released a statement on the matter:
“(T)here does not appear to have been a directive or an expectation that these petitions would be circulated in violation of Virginia law… What actually happened within the campaign headquarters is still a subject of investigation due primarily to the lack of cooperation of key individuals with the (Virginia State Police) investigator.”Statement from special prosecutor Donald Caldwell
Taylor, who lost by 2 points to Luria, has been hard on Democrats, lashing out at them and blaming them for false accusations that he was under investigation in the midst of his campaign. He released a statement in response to Caldwell’s recent news release where he says, “[Caldwell’s statement] makes it concretely clear, as I have maintained all along, I knew nothing about any illegal actions that transpired.”
Caldwell also said in his statement that the indictments against the aide for election fraud “are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt” but added, “Whether a judge or jury agrees with my assessment will be answered in the future.”