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Cease and desist letter resurrects 2-year-old signature forgery scandal

A political analyst says by sending the letter, Scott Taylor opened the door for more scrutiny.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Second Congressional District Republican candidate Scott Taylor sent a "cease and desist" letter this week to his opponent, incumbent Democrat Representative Elaine Luria.   

Taylor wants Luria to stop saying that he, Taylor, is still under investigation in the ongoing probe into the 2018 forging of signatures -- including those of dead people -- onto campaign petitions.

One Taylor campaign staffer from back then has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, while another has been indicted.

On background, Taylor on Wednesday played a recording on his cell phone for reporters from a person who identified himself as being with the State Police, in which the person says Taylor is not personally under investigation.

But when 13News Now reached out to Roanoke Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney John Beamer, whose office is supervising the prosecution, to inform him that Taylor claims he's not under investigation, Beamer replied: "That's not true. The entire campaign is under investigation."

Taylor responded Wednesday: "One guy is political. One is not. Who do you believe? The non-political person who actually investigates, or the political person? Boom."

Christopher Newport University political analyst Quentin Kidd says it was probably a tactical mistake, politically, for Taylor to send the letter because by doing so, he has opened the door for more scrutiny of the two-year-old signature scandal.

"I don't see how this does them any good," Kidd said. "I just think it was a politically tin-eared thing to do. It's a mistake. He should've just ignored the challenges the Luria campaign was throwing out there. He should've focused on the issues he had been focusing on instead of this."

Kidd continued: "Scott Taylor himself and Scott Taylor's campaign would've been better off ignoring it and focusing on the issues, focusing on the things they thought would help them in terms of issues. They took the bait and issued the cease and desist letter which then caused the media to look into this again."