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Third ex-Scott Taylor campaign staffer indicted

A grand jury indicted Heather Guillot on one count of election fraud stemming from the 2018 election.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A grand jury has issued a true bill indictment of election fraud against a third former congressional campaign staffer in a case that clouded the race for Virginia's 2nd District in 2018. 

The Virginia Beach Circuit Court confirmed the charge against Heather Guillot and that a capias was issued, which orders her arrest. Guillot worked on the re-election campaign for freshman Republican Scott Taylor in the district along Virginia's coast. 

Taylor campaign staffers were accused of trying to place a third-party "spoiler candidate" on the November 2018 ballot. The strategy involved gathering signatures and was widely viewed as an effort to draw votes away from Democrat Elaine Luria. 

She ultimately won the seat.

One ex-Taylor campaign staffer, Lauren Creekmore Peabody, pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge earlier this year while a second staffer, Roberta Marciano, is currently facing two counts of election fraud.

Taylor has maintained he himself is not under investigation, although the Roanoke Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney has previously stated that "the entire campaign is under investigation."

Taylor has secured the GOP nomination to try and win back his seat from Luria in November's election.

"Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Beamer was clear that these are more indictments to come and no one has been cleared, including Taylor himself," Luria said in a statement Tuesday. "The people of coastal Virginia deserve to know the depth of election fraud committed by Scott Taylor’s campaign."

In a statement to 13News Now, Taylor's 2020 campaign said the following:

Former, 2018 campaign staff made poor, unethical decisions two years ago. Unethical decisions that Scott Taylor would never condone or permit.  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: "in no way are you being looked at as any type of suspect." Those involved in any illicit behavior can and should be held accountable. 

But since 2018, the attorneys appointed to this investigation have unfortunately been more preoccupied with political justice or "poetic justice" than actual justice. Stalling the judicial process and pursuing justice on a politically convenient timeline is unprofessional and disturbing.   It is a sad reality that this prosecutor's actions are dictated by a political agenda, rather than a dutiful responsibility to pursue truth and justice in a timely manner. 

It is disappointing to see the democrat prosecutor conduct a political witch hunt in an effort to distract voters away from the real issues facing the 2nd District, such as Elaine Luria's unaccountable constituent record during a pandemic and bad-for-business voting record.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.