Guillot and others were accused of forging signatures on petitions to get a potential spoiler third-party candidate on the ballot two years ago, ostensibly to siphon votes from Taylor’s opponent, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.).
The former Navy commander narrowly defeated Taylor, helping Democrats form a majority in the House. Taylor is challenging her in November.
So far, one of Taylor’s former campaign staffers has been convicted in the scheme, pleading guilty to willful neglect of an election duty last year, while another is slated to stand trial in Virginia Beach on Sept. 24.
More than two years after it began, the scandal has continued to dog Taylor’s 2020 campaign as Luria’s campaign invokes it at every opportunity.
Taylor has tried to distance himself from the investigation, but Beamer said it is not over, and everyone on Taylor’s 2018 campaign staff, Taylor included, remains under investigation.
In a statement, Taylor’s campaign manager, Regan Kirkby, accused attorneys of pursuing a politically motivated investigation on a “politically convenient timeline . . . rather than a dutiful responsibility to pursue truth and justice in a timely manner.”
“Former, 2018 campaign staff made poor, unethical decisions two years ago. Unethical decisions that Scott Taylor would never condone or permit,” Kirkby said. “Scott Taylor had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and has never been under investigation, as Scott was told by the special agent investigating with the Virginia State Police. . . . Those involved in any illicit behavior can and should be held accountable.”
Guillot’s defense attorney did not return a phone message and an email on Wednesday.
The signatures scandal marked a turning point in Taylor’s reelection bid in the spring of 2018, probably costing him votes in a swing district that is just as competitive this year.
Luria, a moderate Democrat who spent her first term in office focused on veterans’ issues in a district home to the nation’s largest Naval base, has released multiple campaign ads highlighting the scandal.
One features a widow whose deceased husband’s signature landed on the petition that Taylor’s campaign staff circulated to try to get Shaun Brown on the ballot as an independent.
“Scott Taylor knew about these signature efforts,” the woman, Bet Cake, says in the ad. “A judge called it ‘out-and-out fraud.’ I call it hurtful, Mr. Taylor, and disqualifying.”
In August, Taylor’s campaign sent a cease-and-desist letter to Luria’s campaign, accusing Luria and campaign staff of making “defamatory claims” about Taylor by repeatedly saying he is under investigation.
“Your allegations are factually false,” the letter said. “Scott Taylor is not currently and has never been under investigation for election fraud.”
On Wednesday, Beamer declined to respond directly to Taylor’s claims.
“The campaign is under investigation,” Beamer said. “He was part of the campaign.”
Luria’s campaign said Wednesday that “no one has been cleared, including Taylor himself.
“The people of Coastal Virginia deserve to know the depth of the election fraud committed by Scott Taylor’s campaign,” spokeswoman Veronica Ingham said in a statement.