Last Updated on September 9, 2020
A staffer who worked on former Rep. Scott Taylor’s 2018 re-election bid was indicted in Virginia Beach on Tuesday, marking the third member of the failed campaign to be charged in connection with phony ballot access signatures recorded on behalf of a Democrat-turned-independent spoiler candidate.
The staffer, Heather Guillot, served as a Taylor campaign consultant and now faces one felony charge of election fraud, an offense that carries up to 10 years in state prison. Another staffer, Roberta Marciano, was indicted in connection with the case in March and faces two counts of making false statements on campaign documents.
Just before Marciano was charged, staffer Lauren Creekmore Peabody plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge of woeful neglect of election duties in exchange for a one year suspended jail sentence and $1,000 fine.
Taylor is currently serving as the Republican Party’s nominee to Congress in Virginia’s 2nd District in hopes of winning back his old seat from Democrat Representative Elaine Luria, who defeated him in 2018.
While Taylor claims to have been told by the Virginia State Police that he was cleared of wrongdoing by investigators, special prosecutor John Beamer continues to tell that reporters that no members of the campaign have been cleared, including Taylor himself, and that he expects to hand out at least one more indictment before the nearly 2-year long investigation is concluded.
“He’s part of the campaign and the whole campaign is under investigation,” Beamer is quoted as saying by The Virginian-Pilot newspaper.
Taylor has been branded a Republican in name only and a member of his party’s establishment wing by conservative pundits and his constituents, specifically due to his views and legislative actions on immigration and amnesty, as well as his appearance at a 2017 George Soros-linked “Global Citizen” event in New York City.
As previously reported by National File, Taylor drew the ire of those voters during the 2020 primary season, as he appeared to push for mail-in voting on his campaign’s social media accounts:
Former Virginia Congressman Scott Taylor is echoing Governor Ralph Northam’s political hijacking of COVID-19 to push a Democrat-style vote by mail scheme in an effort to win the 2nd district’s Republican primary. Taylor served one term in Congress, before being bounced from Washington by Democrat Elaine Lauria in 2018.
“With all the unknowns our community is facing, we encourage you to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail to cast your vote for Scott Taylor,” a recent campaign ad reads.
Taylor’s push for supporters to vote by mail has certainly raised eyebrows, as he is fresh off a highly publicized election fraud scheme, which saw one of his 2018 campaign staffers, Lauren Creekmore Peabody, plead guilty to charges of “willful neglect of election duty” last month. In doing so, Peabody received a $1,000 fine and a suspended jail sentence of 1-year, contingent on a year of good behavior.
Peabody’s charges stem from efforts by the Taylor campaign to get a two-time Democrat candidate for Congress, Shaun Brown – who Taylor defeated in 2016 – on the 2018 ballot as an independent, for the purpose of splitting the Democrat vote, propelling Taylor to victory. Court documents state that Peabody and fellow Taylor campaign staffers were instructed by senior members of the campaign and Taylor himself to collect ballot access signatures on Brown’s behalf. The effort failed, and Taylor was defeated by a 3-point margin.
According to an investigation by 13News Now, petitions gathered by Taylor campaign staffers included the names and “signatures” of not only voters who moved out of state years prior, but the deceased.